The global supply and demand for agricultural land in 2050: a perfect storm in the making? | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 2010
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The number of people which the world must feed is expected to increase by 50% during the first half of this century, but will the world’s agricultural resource base be up to the task of meeting the diverse demands being placed on it? This paper reviews the evidence on the future supply and demand for agricultural land four decades from now and provide a critical evaluation of the potential for a perfect storm in land markets, worldwide.The paper indicates the following findings:  signs of slowing yield growth for key staple crops have been realised  public opposition to genetically modified crops has slowed growth in the application of promising biotechnology developments  at the same time, the growing use of biomass for energy generation has introduced an important new source of industrial demand in agricultural markets  furthermore, water is rapidly diminishing in availability in many parts of the world, and many soils are degrading  agriculture and forestry are likely to be the economic sectors whose productivity is most sharply affected by climate change As a result, the document concludes that:  the “perfect storm” in global food and agriculture could occur  however, the “perfect storm”, should it arise in 2050, will not be a global phenomenon  rather, it will consist of many localised “storms”  the prices at which the “perfect storm” in the global land markets will be resolved depend critically on the long run supply and demand elasticities in agricultural markets  nevertheless, it is not possible to adequately evaluate the supply and demand for land by operating at continental or national scales  indeed, spatial resolution is essential

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

T.W. Hertel

AgEcon Search

AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics collects, indexes, and electronically distributes full text copies of scholarly research in the broadly defined field of agricultural economics including sub disciplines such as agribusiness, food supply, natural resource economics, environmental economics, policy issues, agricultural trade, and economic development.

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