Global food security is a rising humanitarian issue with 1 in 9, or 805 million people living in hunger every day.
“Food security is achieved when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
– Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
By 2050 the world population will have grown to 9.7bn, arable land will have shrunk to less than 2 hectares per person and individual fruit and vegetable consumption will be up to 60% greater than in 2015.
Figure 1. Global Mega Trends (FAO, IFPRI)
Unfortunately these trends will continue to stress the global food security challenge. World crop production will need to double between 2007 and 2050 to continue to feed the planet.
Figure 2. Global Crop Production (FAO)
To meet this challenge there is little scope for arable land to expand and further crop production from rotation is limited, so the remaining growth will be dependent on increasing crop yields. Fertiliser has already been responsible for between 50-75% of the crop yield increase in the Asian region since the 1960’s, so further efficiency and optimisation in plant nutrition is essential.
Fertiliser application will need to become more sophisticated as farmers adopt the 4R principles; the right nutrient at the right rate, right time and right place. This will lead to increased demand for specialty fertiliser like Sulphate of Potash (SOP) as farmers push to maximise crop yields to absolute limits.
World Agriculture Towards 2030/2050; The 2012 Revision – fao.org
Plant nutrition for food security. A guide for integrated nutrient management – fao.org
Gaps between fruit and vegetable production, demand, and recommended consumption at global and national levels: an integrated modelling study – ifpri.org
Food Security and the Role of Fertilizer in Supporting it – sciencedirect.com