Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.
Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.
Competition for water between food production and other uses will intensify pressure on essential resources, the scientists said. “The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century.
So, is that going to be difficult or easy? That’s what we really need to know, no?
A separate report from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said the best way for countries to protect millions of farmers from food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia was to help them invest in small pumps and simple technology, rather than to develop expensive, large-scale irrigation projects.
“We’ve witnessed again and again what happens to the world’s poor – the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and already suffer from water scarcity – when they are at the mercy of our fragile global food system,” said Dr Colin Chartres, the director general.
“Farmers across the developing world are increasingly relying on and benefiting from small-scale, locally-relevant water solutions. [These] techniques could increase yields up to 300% and add tens of billions of US dollars to household revenues across sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.”
Oh, that’s all right then. It’ll be piss easy apparently. Move standard rainfed peasant farming one notch up the technological scale to perhaps Ancient Egyptian levels with say an Archimedes Screw and we’re done.
Back to sleep everyone.
What does amuse is that John Vidal seems not to have even read his own article where the final paragraphs contradict the opening ones.