New Delhi: Agriculture must keep up with growing humanity’s ever-greater needs. Agriculture may need to evolve further in order to produce food for the next generation, as we have only a few plant varieties to live on.
Here are a few crucial facts related to agriculture, which may witness pathbreaking changes in the future, according to current data gathered from market sources.
Agriculture must keep up with growing humanity’s ever-greater needs. Agriculture has changed the way we live, and it may need to evolve further in order to produce food for the next generation.
We’ve got only a few plants to live on. About 99% of our agricultural production depends on only 24 different domesticated crop species, sources told Zee Media.
The top 10 domesticated crops in the world, in terms of production volume, are maize, wheat, rice, potato, sugar beet, soybean, cassava, barley, sweet potato, and tomato.
Feeding Asia in the next quarter of a century will require both food and land, and in large amounts. Within the next 25 years, farmers in Asia must increase their cereal yields by 50-75%, simply to meet the demands of an increasing population.
Cropland and population are not uniformly distributed, especially in China, which holds 20-25% of the world’s population - but only 7% of the world’s productive land. To feed itself over the next 40 years, mankind will have to produce a quantity of food larger than all the food produced SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, they said.
Without pesticides, 70% of the world's food crop would be lost. At present, even with pesticide use, 42% of our planted crops are destroyed by insects and pathogenic fungi.
Fertilisers can increase yields of food crops from 1.5- to 2-fold. Without fertilisers, farmers would need an extra 400-600 million hectares (988-1,482 million acres) of cropland to make up for their losses.
Moreover, without fertiliser technology, current food production would only have been achieved by plowing up an extra 2,000 million hectares (4,942 million acres), they added.
Notably, the current data has been gathered from market sources.