Feeding the World, So Far, So Good
Don Hofstrand – Iowa State University emeritus ag economist says world agriculture has been successful in keeping up with world population growth over the last half of the 20th century. In fact -Hofstrand says agriculture's food production has increased faster than population during this time period. And the value of food production has increased rapidly during this period – most of which occurred in the developing countries.
Hofstrand notes that although world agricultural production has increased faster than population growth – resulting in an increase in production per capita – the increases have not been distributed evenly across the globe. Still – 37 out of 70 developing countries are considered food insecure nations. Most are located in Sub-Saharan Africa – the same region that has the highest fertility rate.
Hofstrand adds agriculture's ability to meet the needs of an additional two-billion people during the first half of the 21st century is an open question. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates food production will need to increase by 70-percent by 2050.