FAO, 2002

In recent years the growth rates of world agricultural production and crop yields have slowed. This has raised fears that the world may not be able to grow enough food and other commodities to ensure that future populations are adequately fed. However, the slowdown has occurred not because of shortages of land orwater but rather because demand for agricultural products has also slowed. This is mainly because world population growth rates have been declining since the late 1960s, and fairly high levels of food consumption per person are now being reached in many countries, beyond which further rises will be limited. But it is also the case that a stubbornly high share of the world’s population remains in absolute poverty and so lacks the necessary income to translate its needs into effective demand. As a result, the growth in world demand for agricultural products is expected to fall from an average 2.2 percent a year over the past 30 years to1.5 percent a year for the next 30. In developing countries the slow down will be more dramatic, from 3.7 percent to 2 percent, partly as a result of China having passed the phase of rapid growth in its demand for food. This study suggests that world agricultural production can grow in line with demand, provided that the necessary national and international policies to promote agriculture are put in place. Global shortages are unlikely, but serious problems already exist at national and local levels and may worsen unless focused efforts are made.

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Toshihiko MASUI, Yuzuru MATSUOKA, Tsuneyuki MORITA, Mikiko KAINUMA and Kiyoshi TAKAHASHI, 2001

In order to support a special project for developing a new set of long-term GHGs emission scenarios in IPCC, the new general equilibrium model, which can analyze the land use change, has been developed. According to the long-term land use scenario projected by the model, greenhouse gas emissions from land use were calculated. Based on the simulations, the forest area will increase after the beginning of the 21st century in all scenarios, especially the B1 and B2 scenarios in which societies consider not only economic development but also environmental preservation. The forest area in Asia will be recovered faster than that of the global one.

Paper presented in·the Expert Meeting on How to Feed the World in 2050 FAO
Rome, 24-26 June 2009
Jelle Bruinsma

This paper discusses the natural resource implications of the latest FAO food and agriculture baseline projections to 2050 (FAO, 2006a). These projections offer a comprehensive (food and feed demand, including all foreseeable diet changes, trade and production) and consistent picture of the food and agricultural situation in 2030 and 2050. The main purpose of this paper is to provide an indication of the additional demands on natural resources derived from the crop production levels in 2030 and 2050 as foreseen in the FAO 2006 projections. It does not deal with additional demand for agricultural products used as feedstock in biofuel production or the impacts of climate change, nor the additional production needed to eliminate (or to accelerate the elimination of) the remaining undernourishment in 2050.


The SEAMLESS project developed science and a computerized framework for integrated assessment of agricultural systems and the environment. The integrated project was funded by the EU Framework Programme 6 (Global Change and Ecosystems) and ran from 2005 till March 2009. SEAMLESS will facilitate translation of policy questions into alternative scenarios that can be assessed through a set of indicators that capture the key economic, environmental, social and institutional issues of the questions at stake. The indicators in turn are assessed using an intelligent linkage of quantitative models. These models have been designed to simulate aspects of agricultural systems at specific scales, i.e. point or field scale, farm, region, EU and world. Application of the models requires pan-European databases for environmental, economic and social issues. Some indicators, particularly social and institutional ones, will be assessed directly from data or via a post-model analysis.

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