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December 9, 2008

 

US report highlights agriculture's 30-year challenge

 
 

US group Farm Foundation has released a report that outlines the major challenges and issues agriculture will face over the next 30 years.

 

The report identifies six major challenges that agriculture faces - global financial markets and recession; global food security; global energy security; climate change; competition for natural resources, and global economic development.

 

Global population is expected to increase by one-third by 2040. Increasing incomes, particularly in developing countries, may bring changes in dietary preferences and greater demand for agriculture to provide food and energy, said Farm Foundation President Neilson Conklin.

 

All these will increase pressure on and competition for natural resources at a time when the impacts of climate change on production systems are not yet fully understood, he adds.

 

The US is expected to play a key role in meting the 30-year challenge, while the world agricultural producers and agribusinesses have the ability to rise to the challenge given they had the right tools and incentives, said Conklin.

 

However, the incentives are heavily influenced by public policy and it is unknown whether today's policies would be able to provide the appropriate tools and incentives to address the challenges, said Conklin.

 

The report was developed with input from a diverse set of agriculture and agribusiness leaders, government agency representatives and academics.

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