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Agrimonde Foresight. © inra

Agrimonde Foresight Study: how do we feed the world in 2050?

Conférérence de presse Agrimonde. Marion Guillou, présidente de l’Inra, et Patrick Caron, directeur général du Cirad, ont présenté, en présence des principaux auteurs, les résultats de ce travail sur les enjeux alimentaires et agricoles mondiaux à l’horizon 2050. © MAITRE Christophe

Agrimonde challenges: how do we secure international exchanges of food and agricultural commodities?

Whatever the scenario explored by Agrimonde, feeding the world in 2050 requires intense and secure exchanges between regions of the world with shortages and those with surpluses. 

Updated on 04/24/2013
Published on 02/26/2013

Both scenarios plan for a world divided into two or three zones with surpluses (OECD countries, Latin American and the former Soviet Union) which ensure supply to three zones facing shortages (Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa). Despite increased agricultural production in these latter three zones, domestic demand cannot be met in either scenario and food importations will be necessary, even as imports increase by 2050 compared today’s levels.

This observation leads to the question of how to secure international exchanges. There are two aspects to the issue. First, insufficient domestic production in the importing countries will have to be compensated regularly to minimise the risk of supply shortages. Second, increases in agricultural food production require a stabilised international economic, social and political context, without which excessive competition could develop for imported products from countries selling at lower prices. There are several possibilities to promote production growth and ensure secure international exchange as demand increases. While Agrimonde does not claim have all the answers, the study does highlight the pressing need to weigh the future outcomes of our food and agricultural systems on an international scale. More specifically, the problem of securing and creating stable global food and agricultural commodities exchanges needs to be tackled, as does how international environmental and social regulations will affect these exchanges.

View video (in French) of the round table on the regulation of international exchanges, which took place at the Agrimonde symposium in October 2009