The current food system can only feed 3.4 billion people, according to newscientist.com. In the event that a person does not go beyond the planetary boundaries, most of the world's population is threatened with a shortage of food. At the same time, experts offer a less radical way to solve the global problem by reorganizing the modern agricultural system, which will allow the planet to feed more than 10 billion people.
Humanity lacks food
Food production from the environment can no longer move in this direction, says Dieter Gerten of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany. It is known that in 2009, experts identified nine planetary boundaries that humanity should not exceed if it wants to maintain its vital activity on the planet without a sharp decline in its population. According to the researchers, for this, humanity must adhere to certain frameworks that are directly related to agriculture. So, we must not take too much fresh water from rivers and lakes, we must limit our use of nitrogen and nitrogenous compounds, and also not cut down a large amount of forests and maintain the overall biodiversity of the planet.
After examining the current food supply, the team concluded that half of today's industries violate all of these natural requirements, endangering the life support of our planet. This unpleasant situation can be solved by repurposing modern farms in areas where more than 5% of the species are currently endangered. In addition, the researchers propose a similar solution for agricultural land, where more than 85% of tropical forests have been cleared, as well as in places with active water intake for irrigation purposes and places with high surface water levels.
Genome Editing Technology Will Help Humanity Solve Food Crisis
According to experts, the introduction of such measures could mean a significant restriction on the use of fertilizers in some parts of China, Central Europe, as well as in some regions of Africa and the United States. The introduction of a set of such measures can help to ensure sustainable food production for 7.8 billion people, which is approximately the same as the current population of the planet. In addition, reducing the amount of meat consumed could help increase this figure to 10.2 billion people - slightly more than the projected number of the world's population by 2050.
The ambitious plan of scientists has only one "but". Thus, the research team suggests that the consequences of global warming can affect the positive changes in the agriculture of the planet. In this case, humanity will have to rely only on genome editing technology and the use of electricity from solar panels in order to grow food of the future.