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Global Population Hits 7 Billion, Raising Urgency of Addressing Hunger and Food Security
With the global population now at seven billion, the urgency of addressing global hunger and food security is greater than ever. In response to the new population statistics released today by the United Nations, Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) Board Chairman, Dr. William G. Lesher, said, “Reaching a population of seven billion reinforces the urgency of the hunger and food security challenges that exist worldwide. Today, one out of seven people do not have access to a safe and adequate food supply, and by 2050, this number will rise with the estimated global population reaching nine billion people.”
The most significant challenges of sustainably feeding a population of nine billion by 2050 include scarcity of water and arable land, changing diet patterns, and lack of infrastructure such as roads, processing and storage facilities. Additionally, as described in GHI’s recently-released Global Agricultural Productivity Report™, nearly 90 percent of the population growth over the next 40 years will be concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, vulnerable areas that already struggle with poverty and low agricultural productivity.
Lesher added, “Future food security depends on the successful adoption of policies that support sustainable agricultural development and increased productivity; countries across the globe must begin to actively invest in agricultural research, collaborate to reduce trade barriers, adopt new technologies and innovation and work to establish a business environment where private capital can support agricultural and rural development.”
The Global Harvest Initiative’s 2011 Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report™) was released at the World Food Prize Symposium on October 12. To access the report visit: http://ow.ly/6T2yA.