World demand for nutritious food is soaring and, along with it, the prospects for global agriculture.
The world’s population, now just over seven billion people, is expected to grow to nine billion by 2050.
Over the same period, the globe’s farmland is expected to increase by only one percent — yet it must yield as much food in that time as it has over the last 8,000 years. Clearly, feeding the world is a growing challenge, compounded by the positive trend of increasing prosperity in areas with the greatest populations: as Asia’s middle class grows, for example, so too does the demand for protein in diets. Producing one pound of chicken requires two pounds of grain, a pound of pork requires three pounds of grain, and one pound of beef requires about seven pounds of grain. The world’s farmers face a multiplying challenge — but also a compelling opportunity. And farmers cannot realize the opportunity without good crop nutrition.