A report released by the FAO on February 22, 2017, warned that current trends regarding food production and consumption are not sustainable. Production has increased over the last 30 years, but this increased level of production has come with a steep price environmentally, helping to increase the rate of climate change, which will affect food production through greater variability of precipitation, and increasing the frequencies of both droughts and floods.

The report claims that food systems are capable of producing enough food to keep pace with the current rate of world population growth, but that in order to do so substantial changes in the sustainability of current methodologies are needed. Without these changes, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 concerning world hunger will not be met, even by 2050.

Major transformations in agricultural systems, rural economies and natural resource management will be needed if we are to meet the multiple challenges before us.

Continuing to clear more arable land is not an option, and water use cannot increase without further drawing on overly drawn sources. In order to succeed, the agricultural sector will have to turn towards improvements in productivity and resource-efficiency to meet demand. Through a more sustainable use of resources, and greater spending on research and development, innovative solutions can be found to support sustainable production increases while finding better ways to cope with issues like water scarcity and climate change.

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