1.2 introducing the challenge leaver
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1.2 introducing the challenge leaver 1.2 introducing the challenge leaver Presentation Transcript

  • The Challenge of Achieving Food Security and Sustainability for Nine Billion chris.leaver@plants.ox.ac.uk Old Byzantine Proverb: ‘He who has bread may have troubles He whoAchieving Food Security lacks it has only one’ and Sustainability for Nine Billion chris.leaver@plants.ox.ac.uk
  • We are dependent on cultivated plant species as the software to translate the sun’s energy, water and mineral nutrients into food, fibre and fuels In Many Countries Productive Agriculture is Seasonal . CHLOROPHYLL: Is the only the molecule that can be seen from space. It is found in all Green Plants and is responsible for capturing the light energy from the Sun by a process know as PHOTOSYNTHESIS
  • PHOTOSYNTHESIS • Life on earth ultimately depends on energy derived from the sun. • Photosynthesis by green plants is the only process of biological importance that can capture this energy. • It provides energy, organic matter and oxygen, and is the only sustainable energy source on our planet. Sucrose Starch Proteins Oils THE FOOD WE EAT Plants provide the food we eat, the environment we enjoy & the air we breathe.
  • CHALLENGES IN YOUR LIFETIME Humans use about 30% of the earths photosynthetic production and and ca 32% of the planets land area for cropland(12%) and pasture(20%) 1. What level is truly sustainable, how much do we need to share with other species and how can we optimise the usefulness and beneficial impact of what we can harvest in the future? 2. How can we deliver global food security to avoid predicted deficits as early as 2020 and to deliver an environmentally sustainable doubling of crop production by 2050?. There are 7.0 billion people on earth now and this will increase to ca. 9 billion by 2050 2. How can we reduce our dependence on, and ultimately replace petrochemicals with renewable chemical feed stocks from plants? 4. How can we combat climate change,global warming and drought and minimise its impact on crop productivity?
  • Agriculture is a success story and has kept pace with the increase in population over the centuries… BUT not for everyone on the planet The Eurocentric Vision of Agriculture: Garden of Earthly Delight or Paradise Lost? Peter Bruegel the Elder (1565) The Reality:Prarie Agriculture In Mato Grosso-Brazil Soybean Harvest and Corn Cultivation YOU WILL KNOW FAR BETTER THAN I THE REALITY OF AGRICULTURE IN SOME AFRICAN COUNTRIES
  • Today we could feed everyone on the planet thanks to plant breeding and modern agriculture but now and in the future making sure everyone has enough to eat is about politics (access,distribution etc---) and investment in science……. • More than 1 billion people go hungry daily about 250 million are in Africa • About 30,000 people, half of them children, die every day due to hunger and malnutrition • More than 3 billion people are living in absolute poverty on less than two dollars a day and are generally deficient in at least one micronutrient necessary for maintaining their health. They have real problems with food security. • 650 Million of the Poorest Live in Rural Areas “In the next 50 years, mankind will consume as much food as we have consumed since the beginning of agriculture 10,000 years ago - Clive James”
  • The worlds population has more than doubled in the last 50 years Each Year the World’s Population Grows by about 80 Million People 220,000 new mouths to feed everyday 2012 1960 10% of the Population Lives on 0.5% of the World’s Income Developing and Transition Countries 1927 Developed countries
  • Increases in global population and urbanisation… World population growth by region Urbanisation 10 P o p u la tio n (b illio n s ) 9 8 7 Oceania Northern America Latin America Europe 6 Asia 5 Africa 4 3 2 1 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 0 Source: United Nations, World Population The largest increases in population will Prospects: The 2006 Revision (medium scenario) occur in megacities in Africa and Asia. More than 50% of the worlds population already live in urban areas it will rise to 70%.
  • Demand is driven by population growth and land scarcity World population People fed per hectare 2030 2030 >5 people >8 billion 2005 >4 people 2005 6.5 billion 1950 2.5 billion 1960 2 people Source: FAO, World Bank statistics As a result 1 in 6 of the world’s population, is hungry today, and we have to increase food production by 70-100% by 2050
  • And failing to end hunger Undernourishment data versus the Millenium Development Millions Goals target 2007-08 food price spike Source: Oxfam (2010) Data cited from FAO Hunger Statistics (from 1969 to 2006); UN (2009)
  • How have we met the increased food demand since 1950’s? Mechanisation including irrigation Sub Saharan Africa Modern fertilizers Better seed varieties Crop protection chemicals Maximum yields in those countries which will have the biggest increase in population are still far below those achieved in the developed world
  • Four innovations brought about the change in agriculture and increased yield in the twentieth century • Productivity steadily increased with only a 10% increase in land use : – Mechanisation and irrigation – Synthetic fertilisers – Crop protection chemicals – Plant Breeding and Geneticsthe ‘Green revolution’ • The effect of these four innovations was to allow more food to be produced from less land- • The developed complacent!! • What are the innovations which will change agriculture in this century? world became Source: WBC for Sustainable Agriculture, Crop Losses to Pests (E-C Oerke); Journal of Agricultural Science (2006) 11/7/2012 12
  • • Agronomic and Genetic Improvements Will Continue to Work Together to Sustain Improvement in Crop Yield Several studies have shown that about 40-50% of U.S. corn yield gain since the 1930s is due to changes in management, such as increases in N fertilizer, agrochemicals & higher plant densities, while the other 50-60% is due to changes in corn genotype. But yield gains of some major crops are plateauing In the developed world US average crop yields (1866 – 2006) 10.0 7.5 5.0 2.5 0.0 Russell and Sandall (2005) University of Nebraska, Lincoln Molecular Breeding and GM technology has made a significant contribution to the increase in yield of corn since the late 1990s Corn Sorghum Barley Wheat Soybean Oats Rye Cotton USDA NASS
  • The world has been successful at Increasing Food Supply But this has been at a cost……….. To feed and resource 7.0 billion people we have already lost….. •1/5 of our topsoil (due to erosion, desertification and salinity) •1/5 of our agricultural land (overgrazing marginal land) •1/3 of our forests •Plus Today Additionally….. •Environmental pollution •Climate change, groundwater depletion •Depletion of the Ozone layer •Massive fossil fuel usage/CO2 increase by 15% since 1950 •Species extinction, biodiversity loss •Urbanisation → increased meat consumption (India and China etc) •Obesity/starvation •Zoonotic disease transmission HIV, SARs, BSE, Foot and Mouth, Bird Flu etc THIS IS UNSUSTAINABLE : DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION
  • And now man made global warming and climate change….. Carbon dioxide levels over the last 60,000 years Crop productivity is highly vulnerable to variations in climate Models suggest that climate change will have a positive or neutral effect on crop yields at high latitudes but negative effects at low latitudes Increased CO2 (from the current 385 ppm set to rise to 450ppm) raises some yields Lack of water limits others Spectrum of pests and disease change
  • Food Security, Poverty and Climate Change
  • The Challenge is : • World population will grow from 7bn 2012 to >9bn by 2050 • More than 50% of the worlds population already live in urban areas and it will rise to 70% • The largest increases in population will occur in megacities in Africa and Asia • Increasing affluence in Asia drives demand for meat, cereals, edible oils-the nutritional transition • Over 1bn people chronically hungry. 3 billion in poverty • Land available for agriculture will stay ~ constant or decrease • Decreasing water supplies limit crop yields
  • and……… •Climate warming is broadly neutral on global yields but will have significant negative impact on those countries with the greatest need. Leading to changes in the distribution and severity of plant pests and disease,rising sea levels,flooding,severe drought, decline in soil quality (eg erosion,salinity) •Increase in yields of major staple crops is plateauing •Diversion of resources into growing energy crops for biofuels rather than food crops 70- 100% more food required on same land area, with improved sustainability, fairer distribution and adaption to climate change
  • The food system is also failing on sustainability - defined as….. ‘Meeting the needs of the present while improving the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ •Agriculture currently consumes 70% of total global water withdrawals from rivers and aquifers, many of which are overexploited. Global water demand for agriculture could rise by over 30% by 2030 and double by 2050. •Of 11.5 billion ha of vegetated land on earth, around 24% has undergone human induced soil degradation • Agriculture and forestry directly contributes ca 30 % of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
  • We Must Grow More With Less “Sustainable Intensification” • All commentators agree that food production will have to increase substantially this century. But there are very different views about how this should best be achieved • Sustainable agricultural intensification is defined as ‘producing more output from the same area of land while reducing the negative environmental impacts ‘ • ...both agricultural and environmental outcomes are pre-eminent under sustainable intensification • To deliver sustainable intensification we must get beyond pointless arguments based on entrenched beliefs or narrow debates about individual technologies and must …….. • • • • • Focus on desired outcomes Practical matter not an academic exercise There is no single perfect solution Sustainability is a journey, not the destination Solutions must work locally for individual farmers and communities
  • There are only two ways to increase food production Time Magazine Farm More Land 21 Produce More/Acre In an age of climate change, land-use-conversion is the worst possible thing to do Time Magazine
  • Declining Land Availability 07/11/2012 21:32 22
  • We are running out of land and water!!! Worldwide, more than 70% of food production is dependent on irrigation. Depletion of aquifers (underground water) is occurring at twice there recharge rate,water tables are falling and wells running dry . Salinisation and desertification is a major consequence of irrigation Since the overpumping of aquifers is occurring in many countries (particularily in China and India) more or less simultaneously, the depletion of aquifers and the resulting harvest cutbacks could come at roughly the same time, creating potentially unmanageable food scarcity.
  • Major drought-prone regions of the world coincide with those regions with the largest predicted increase in population Changing and unpredictable weather patterns Corn yields in USA decreased by ca 30% in 2012 due to drought
  • The Choices • Expand area of agriculture using virgin land • Increase productivity in exporting countries of the developed world • Use all safe and appropriate, socially responsible and sustainable opportunities to increase food supplies locally and also improve ‘orphan crops’ • Develop a sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture which combines the best of conventional plant breeding with the new biotechnologies including marker assisted breeding and genetic modification. • This is what we wish to discuss with you in the next few days. DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION AND TIME IS NOT ON OUR SIDE
  • The “Perfect Storm” that led to the 2007 food shortages will be with us in the future More people to feed The price of fertiliser is linked to the price of oil and continues to rise Consumption by large, affluent classes in India , China,SEA and South America 40% of US Corn used for Ethanol Source: USDA ERS 26 High Energy Costs Biofuels Drought in Australia,Russian Heatwaves and Fires in 2010 US Drought in 2012
  • SEPTEMBER 2012 JULY 2012 Recent prolonged high temperatures and drought in the US Corn Belt and changing weather conditions have led to predictions that corn yields could be reduced by between 20 and 30% this year. Significant reductions in yields in Europe and Russia.
  • Mankind depends on a few crop species for food The application of marker assisted breeding and GM technology has primarily been used to improve food production in the major world crops such as maize and soyabean with rice and wheat following behind. They should now be adapted to improving orphan crops which can address food security and nutrition and provide economic benefits to poor farmers in the developing world-sorghum,cowpea,sweet potato,groundnut,cassava
  • Conventional Plant Breeding has been very successful but yield gains are now slowing. The new molecular technologies allow more precise and rapid crop improvement by marker assisted selection breeding and GM approaches. This requires the identification of the gene(s) that underlie the traits and then combination with native traits using molecular markers and/or GM to improve the crop But yield gains of some major crops are plateauing and have not benefited from GM Technology Corn
  • Low crop yields are part of the problem…
  • Maize/Corn Yields, 1961-2009 China World Average Africa Source: FAO
  • Average Cereal Yields Tons per Hectare 6 4 Agricultural productivity: Africa 10,000 kcal/ha Asia 25,000 kcal/ha Global 20,000 kcal/ha China South Asia 2 0 Sub Saharan Africa (FAO 2006)
  • We have to increase PRODUCTIVITY • Increasing productivity provides a livelihood for people, allowing them the opportunity to stay in their communities. This leads to local economic growth, better education, health, political stability and food stability. Implicit with increases in agricultural productivity is the more efficient use and distribution of scarce resources such as fuel and fertiliser. • Critically, today per capita food production in rich countries is twice that of the poor nations. We must increase productivity in these countries to feed the estimated 9 billion people.
  • If Future Agriculture is to Support Everyone Adequately on the Planet a combination of Improved and Appropriate Technologies will be Required • Integrated pest management • Reduction of chemical use and energy • Agroecology • Water conservation • No-till practices • Precision agriculture where appropriate • Conserving genetic diversity • Orphan Crops and Specialized (biofuel?) crops • Genetic modification by marker assisted breeding and GM technology where appropriate • GM is not a Silver Bullet!!
  • Why Developing/Transition Countries Have Problems with Food? • • • • • • • • • • • Limited Resources Low Agricultural Productivity Climate Change Diminishing Productive Land/water Poverty; Poor Distribution of Food Misguided Priorities by politicians Distribution/storage/transportation Growing Population Low Purchasing Power Civil Strife, War Economic and Environmental Migration
  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) To feed a world of 9 billion people in 2050, without allowing for additional imports of food: Africa has to increase its food production by 300 percent Latin America by 80 percent; and Asia by 70 percent. Even North America must increase food production by 30 percent •Without an Increase in Farm Productivity, Additional 1.6 Billion Hectares of Arable Land will be Needed by 2050!
  • • 60 - 80% of Africans live on small farms • Majority are women who farm on less than 3 acres • Land and Labour are farmers most important assets • Farms are undercapitalized, markets inefficient • 30 - 50% of GDP in most African nations is from agriculture • Huge environmental, pest and logistical challenges • Estimates of maize yields around the world: SSA: 3.8MT/ha; SE Asia: 4MT/ha; Europe & USA: 8MT-15MT/ha • 25% grain imported, 40% post-harvest losses Africa Population will double by 2025 to 1.5 billion 371
  • How Do We Move Forward? • Given present trends in population, food production, trade, and the environment, the necessary increases in production and income generation in rural areas cannot be achieved simply by expanding cultivated land and using current technologies • We must strive to attain global sustainability as a precondition for human progress. The only realistic option is to invest in the science and technology necessary to increase the efficiency of agriculture and attempt to reverse the impact of man-made climate changeSUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION • We must address population, affluence, and technology simultaneously to move toward sustainability • While agricultural production must be intensified to meet projected demands for food, feed, fibre and biofuels, intensification strategies must also change to avoid adverse environmental impacts and to reverse the effects of past practices We must use all safe, appropriate, socially responsible and sustainable opportunities to increase food supplies locally and also improve ‘orphan crops. This can be achieved by combining the best of conventional plant breeding with the new biotechnologies including marker assisted breeding and genetic modification of crop plants
  • We can change our future – Science provides us with tremendous opportunities Policy makers have opportunities and (yet) time to act