How to feed 9 billion people

Britain’s chief scientific adviser John Beddington has got together with nine other experts to address that question in a paper published in Science.   Under our foresight program in the UK they came up with five strategies which have all got to be addressed.  Interview here.

  1. Close the yield gap;
  2. Increasing production;
  3. Reducing waste.
  4. Meat production comes from grassland that could not be turned into arable land
  5. Aquaculture to use waste products from basic agriculture

One of the key issues of course is the use of water in Australia. Water is one of the major problems that I think we’re going to be facing over the next ten or 20 years. The way in which we actually apply agriculture in drought conditions is going to be really important and one of the areas where I think there is the potential is developing, using our understanding of plant genomics, to develop plants that are extremely robust to drought conditions, that’s one way. Also there’s an enormous amount of work that can be done in thinking about how water and soil interact.


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