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Teagasc & RDS Lecture on Global Challenges in Farming and Food

Land and water resources and the way they are used are central to the challenge of improving food security across the world. Demographic pressures, climate change, and the increased competition for land and water are likely to increase vulnerability to food insecurity, particularly in Africa and Asia. The challenge of providing sufficient food for everyone worldwide has never been greater.

As part of the Teagasc & RDS lecture series, Dr Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Senior Economist & Team Leader, Global Studies Perspectives Team, FAO will deliver a lecture on:

Will we run out of Natural resources needed for Food Production?
on Tuesday, 27 November in the RDS, at 6.30 pm.

Speaking in advance of Tuesday’s event, Dr Frank O Mara, Teagasc Director of Research said that rising population will increase the requirement for food by 70 percent globally, and by up to 100 percent in developing countries, relative to 2009 levels. Yet, the distribution of land and water resources does not favour those countries that need to produce more in the future: the average availability of cultivated land per capita in low-income countries is less than half that of high-income countries and the suitability of cultivated land for cropping is generally lower. Some countries with rapidly growing demand for food are also those that face high levels of land or water scarcity.

Dr O’ Mara said that future agricultural production will have to rise faster than population growth and this will have to occur on existing agricultural land. Improvements will have to come from sustainable intensification that makes effective use of land and water resources as well as not causing them harm.

The potential exists to expand production efficiently to address food security and poverty while limiting impacts on other ecosystem values. There is scope for governments and the private sector, including farmers, to be much more proactive in advancing the general adoption of sustainable land and water management practices.

Email lectureseries@teagasc.ie to register for the lecture.