Agriculture > issues

Food production has increased at almost twice the rate of the global population over the last 20 years. However more than 860 millions of people are hungry...

Agricultural landscape near Châlons-en-Champagne, Marne, France (48°59’ N, 4°21’ E) © Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Altitude

At a time when a demographic revolution is taking place – 3 billion inhabitants on the planet in 1960, 7 billion today and more than 9 billion in 2050 – the demand for food is also constantly growing. According to the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organisation), in order to satisfy this demand, global agricultural production will have to increase by almost 70%.

Agriculture is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale, but also the main source of income for more than 40% of the world’s working population.

It will therefore be necessary to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector while, at the same time, continuing to substantially increase agricultural production. A considerable challenge given that a significant amount of farmland is vanishing every day as a result of pressures, both anthropogenic (urbanisation) and natural (climate change).

Certain land use patterns and agricultural management practices (agro-ecology, direct seeding mulch-based cropping [DMC], etc.) enable productivity to be reconciled with net GHG emissions and the environmental impact of agricultural production. These practices are supported by the GoodPlanet Foundation through the United Carbon Action programme.