What is in this article?:
- World population to grow from 6 billion to 9 billion in 40 years
- Double food production needed
- Same or less land; same or less water and energy
- Research and technology development crucial
Complex Challenges Ahead
Over the years, Texas Tech and other major agricultural universities have helped to create a society where less than 2 percent of our citizens produce the food required to keep the remaining 98 percent at the dinner table. We’re all touched by agriculture. And this will be no less true in the next century than it has been throughout the past 100 years. During the next century, however, the agriculture industry will seek solutions to a multitude of complex challenges led by food security. This daunting task is further complicated by shrinking water resources, environmental concerns, and global interdependence.
According to some, a second "Green Revolution" is essential to attain food security through sustainable agricultural development based on environmentally sound management of natural resources. Research and technology development are the means to this end.
Daunting task? Yes. Insurmountable? No. The agriculture industry has done it before and is very capable of doing it again, but it will be possible if and only if the public, academic institutions and governments give renewed attention to agricultural development and to strengthening the national agricultural research systems. Now that’s some food for thought at anybody’s table.
Sukant Misra is Associate Dean for Research in Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.