Solutions for a cultivated planet

Solutions for a cultivated planet Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing ‘yield gaps’ on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. Contemporary agriculture faces enormous challenges . Even with recent productivity gains, roughly one in seven people lack access to food or are chronically malnourished, stemming from continued poverty and mounting food prices . Unfortunately, the situation may worsen as food prices experience shocks from market speculation, bioenergy crop expansion and climatic disturbances . Even if we solve these food access challenges, much more crop production will probably be needed to guarantee future food security. Recent studies suggest that production would need to roughly double to keep pace with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/solutions-for-a-cultivated-planet-nN6oyyKJ8o
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Nature Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
D.O.I.
10.1038/nature10452
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing ‘yield gaps’ on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture. Contemporary agriculture faces enormous challenges . Even with recent productivity gains, roughly one in seven people lack access to food or are chronically malnourished, stemming from continued poverty and mounting food prices . Unfortunately, the situation may worsen as food prices experience shocks from market speculation, bioenergy crop expansion and climatic disturbances . Even if we solve these food access challenges, much more crop production will probably be needed to guarantee future food security. Recent studies suggest that production would need to roughly double to keep pace with

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 12, 2011

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off