Meeting the C21st Food
Challenge
Julian Cribb FTSE
Food Security Forum
Sydney University
March 17, 2014
A ‘wicked’ problem...
DEMAND:
 216,000 more people every
day
 More babies + longer lives
 Population >11 bn by 2100
 M...
Peak water
Disappearing rivers
Vanishing lakes
Groundwater mining
Shrinking glaciers
“Current estimates indicate we will n...
Warnings
“Over the next two decades, the average
supply of water per person will drop by a third,
possibly condemning mill...
The struggle for water
 Energy sector - tripling
by 2050
 Cities - doubling by
2050
 Minerals processing -
doubling by ...
Peak Land : 2001?
World farming area has shrunk by 540,000 sq kms in the
past decade.
4.94
4.88
4.85
4.86
4.87
4.88
4.89
4...
Unsustainable: 10 kilos of soil lost
for every meal eaten
“The Earth is losing topsoil at a rate of 75
to 100 GT. per year...
“... land and water
systems now face the
risk of progressive
breakdown of their
productive capacity
due to excessive
demog...
Megacities: mega-risks
By 2050...
7.7 billion will live in cities
Total urban area = China
Urban water use 2800 cu kms
Cit...
Peak oil
Car
numbers
growing
8x faster
than oil
supplies
Food & oil prices are
in lockstep
Why we must recycle nutrients
Peak phosphorus 
< 30-50% of
world’s food is
currently wasted
or lost post-
harvest
Sources...
Hotting up: +4o by 2100
Source: IPCC
4-5 degrees
global warming
by 2100: IPCC
10% of food lost
for each 1o of
warming
= We...
Re-arm ag science
 R&D
stagnation
Farm
clearances
• Modern food system could displace 1.5
billion farmers and smallholders by 2050
• Affects all countries
•...
Our ‘killer diet’
 2 people in 3 now die of a
diet-related disease (The
Lancet)
 75% of healthcare costs
linked to chron...
What are the solutions?
Reinvent farming & food systems:
sustainable, low-input eco-farming
Reinvest massively in food r...
Urban farming:
climate-proof?
Green cities
Bioculture
boom
25,000 edible plants
Fish farm boom
World demand for 550mt of meat and fish
by 2100 will require 2-3 bn tonnes
extra of plant-based feed.
Algae boom
By 2050 algae could be the
world’s biggest cropping industry
supplying transport fuels,
health food, stockfeed,...
‘Oil provinces’ of the 21st century
Regions of high solar
density where ‘green oil’
can be grown efficiently.
Future farming
 Double global investment in ag and food R&D to
$200bn by reducing military spending 10%
 This will reduc...
Revegetate, recarbonise, rehydrate
A new respect for food
 A Food Year in every junior school on Earth
 Teach respect for food: how to eat for health
and t...
Link 1.8bn farmers
at lightspeed…
Visit virtual farms. Plan together
Connect to markets
and other farmers
Access to latest...
Great challenges …
wonderful opportunities
Develop eco-farming by global sharing
of knowledge between farmers
Reshape wo...
Debate global food security on:
www.sciencealert.com.au/global-
Thank you
“The Coming Famine”
is published by the
Universi...
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From the Food Security Forum 2014: Good food, good health: delivering the benefits of food
security in Australia and beyond - 17 March 2014

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Julian cribb meeting_the_c21st_food_challenge

  1. 1. Meeting the C21st Food Challenge Julian Cribb FTSE Food Security Forum Sydney University March 17, 2014
  2. 2. A ‘wicked’ problem... DEMAND:  216,000 more people every day  More babies + longer lives  Population >11 bn by 2100  Meat demand soaring in NICs  Food demand +100% by 2060s  -40% climate penalty by 2100 LIMITATIONS:  ‘Peak water’  ‘Peak land’  ‘Peak oil’  ‘Peak P’  ‘Peak fish’  ‘R&D drought’  ‘Capital drought’  ‘Climate extinction’
  3. 3. Peak water Disappearing rivers Vanishing lakes Groundwater mining Shrinking glaciers “Current estimates indicate we will not have enough water to feed ourselves in 25 years time...” – Colin Chartres, IWMI
  4. 4. Warnings “Over the next two decades, the average supply of water per person will drop by a third, possibly condemning millions to an avoidable premature death.” - Nature "A shortage of water could spell increased conflicts in the future.” - Ban Ki-Moon, UN “Many countries will almost certainly experience water problems and state failure, and increased regional tensions,” - US National Intelligence Estimate
  5. 5. The struggle for water  Energy sector - tripling by 2050  Cities - doubling by 2050  Minerals processing - doubling by 2050  Manufacturing  Environment  …..how much is left for farmers and food?
  6. 6. Peak Land : 2001? World farming area has shrunk by 540,000 sq kms in the past decade. 4.94 4.88 4.85 4.86 4.87 4.88 4.89 4.9 4.91 4.92 4.93 4.94 4.95 Year 2000-2009
  7. 7. Unsustainable: 10 kilos of soil lost for every meal eaten “The Earth is losing topsoil at a rate of 75 to 100 GT. per year. If soil loss continues at present rates, it is estimated that there is only another 48 years of topsoil left.” - Marler & Wallin, Nutrition Security Institute, USA, 2006
  8. 8. “... land and water systems now face the risk of progressive breakdown of their productive capacity due to excessive demographic pressure and unsustainable agricultural practices.” - FAO SOLAW Report 2011
  9. 9. Megacities: mega-risks By 2050... 7.7 billion will live in cities Total urban area = China Urban water use 2800 cu kms Cities cannot feed themselves By 2030...
  10. 10. Peak oil Car numbers growing 8x faster than oil supplies Food & oil prices are in lockstep
  11. 11. Why we must recycle nutrients Peak phosphorus  < 30-50% of world’s food is currently wasted or lost post- harvest Sources of artificial fertilisers will be scarce by 2050 >
  12. 12. Hotting up: +4o by 2100 Source: IPCC 4-5 degrees global warming by 2100: IPCC 10% of food lost for each 1o of warming = We will need 150% more food by ‘peak people’
  13. 13. Re-arm ag science  R&D stagnation
  14. 14. Farm clearances • Modern food system could displace 1.5 billion farmers and smallholders by 2050 • Affects all countries • Affects 1 in 5 humans • Driven by globalisation of food chains • Area = Western Europe taken by ‘land grabbers’ since 2001
  15. 15. Our ‘killer diet’  2 people in 3 now die of a diet-related disease (The Lancet)  75% of healthcare costs linked to chronic disease  1.4bn overweight/obese  Diabetes: world’s 7th largest killer by 2030 (WHO)  Food deaths are preventable….
  16. 16. What are the solutions? Reinvent farming & food systems: sustainable, low-input eco-farming Reinvest massively in food research Reinvent the global diet: so it is healthier, damages less planet Redesign cities: to recycle water, nutrients, energy back into food.
  17. 17. Urban farming: climate-proof?
  18. 18. Green cities
  19. 19. Bioculture boom
  20. 20. 25,000 edible plants
  21. 21. Fish farm boom World demand for 550mt of meat and fish by 2100 will require 2-3 bn tonnes extra of plant-based feed.
  22. 22. Algae boom By 2050 algae could be the world’s biggest cropping industry supplying transport fuels, health food, stockfeed, plastics, textiles, chemicals, paper etc
  23. 23. ‘Oil provinces’ of the 21st century Regions of high solar density where ‘green oil’ can be grown efficiently.
  24. 24. Future farming  Double global investment in ag and food R&D to $200bn by reducing military spending 10%  This will reduce conflict AND boost food security  Ecofarming: combine best of high-tech farming with permaculture and automation  Radically reduce all resource inputs.  Major focus on soil biology, crop science, nutrient cycling, soil, water, energy & carbon conservation  Systems that operate at large and small farm scales, across landscapes Robot tractor
  25. 25. Revegetate, recarbonise, rehydrate
  26. 26. A new respect for food  A Food Year in every junior school on Earth  Teach respect for food: how to eat for health and to sustain our food supply OR ? OR?
  27. 27. Link 1.8bn farmers at lightspeed… Visit virtual farms. Plan together Connect to markets and other farmers Access to latest science Farm direct > sales Farmers learning from farmers
  28. 28. Great challenges … wonderful opportunities Develop eco-farming by global sharing of knowledge between farmers Reshape world diet for health and sustainability Design cities that do not waste Reward farmers for producing good food and caring for water, land, wildlife and atmosphere.
  29. 29. Debate global food security on: www.sciencealert.com.au/global- Thank you “The Coming Famine” is published by the University of California Press and CSIRO Publishing. It was supported by the Crawford Fund and Land & Water Australia.
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