The G7 (Group-of-Seven) nations have vowed to uphold a promise that would see agricutural innovation and investment be prioritized around the world.
The statement made by the G7 read: “Motivated, skilled and enterprising farmers are essential for the growth of the agricultural sector. We will help farmers enhance their capability and skills by facilitating access to information and communication technologies, precision farming and agricultural innovations.”
That’s where the agricultural engineers come in. Farming technologies need to be developed to assist food security in the world of today so that in the future, there is enough food for the growing population.
Makiko Tsugata, a senior analyst at Mizuho Securities said: “There are no other options for farmers but to rely on technologies developed by companies if they want to raise productivity while they are greying. The government should help them adopt new technologies.”
The University of Georgia’s engineers are warning that food production in the agricultural industry cannot keep up with the rate at which humans are being born. According to OnlineAthens, the world’s population will spike from the current 7 billion people, to 9.5 billion in 2050.
UGA agricultural engineer, K.C. Das spoke at one of the university’s conferences and said that food production needs to increase by 70 percent if the world intends on accomodating 9.5 billion people by 2050. Das spoke to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, saying that changes will have to be made in food production in order for the industry to survive with that heavy of a demand.
“We have to do it by increasing the intensity of production, and this can have all kinds of unintended consequences for the environment,” said Das.
Another concern for agricultural engineers is that to produce these foods and to transport them around the world, fossil fuels are still being utilized. Clean, renewable energy is the logical step forward. Das said, “You’re using as much gasoline in the food you consume as you are using driving.”
He says 19 percent of all U.S. energy and 70 percent of the world’s water is used up by the agriculture industry. Another incredible statistic from UGA is that 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are also as a result of food production.
Changying Li, a scientist at UGA, said: “The amount of agricultural land is stagnant, and turning more land into agricultural use isn’t really the answer — but greater efficiency can help the world meet the challenge. Increasing food production is one of the greatest challenges facing producers and engineers.”