The Agricultural Industry in the Next 25 Years

1. Introduction

In the next 25 years the agricultural industry is going to have to make some important changes in order to be able to sustain the world’s population. The world’s population is projected to increase by 1. billion people by 2050 and the amount of arable land is finite so we are going to have to increase food production by 70% in order to feed everyone (The Livestock, Dairy and Poultry industries, 2016). The livestock industry is going to have to increase production by at least 50% and the food industry is going to have to increase production by at least 60%. These increases in production are going to have to come from somewhere and they are going to have to come from more efficient methods of production.

2. The Livestock industry

The livestock industry is currently responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions (Livestock’s Long Shadow, 2006) and it is estimated that by 2050 it will be responsible for up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions if current trends continue (The Livestock Revolution, 2010). The main contributor to these emissions is methane fromenteric fermentation in ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. Enteric fermentation is a natural process whereby microorganisms in the stomach break down cellulose which ruminants can’t digest themselves, this process produces methane as a by-product. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, it has a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 21 over a 100-year time horizon which means that it traps 21 times more heat than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period ( IPCC, 2013). In order to reduce the livestock industry’s impact on climate change we are going to have to find ways of reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation. One way of doing this is by changing the way we feed our animals, for example, feeding them food waste instead of grain or grass. Grain and grass are difficult for ruminants to digest and produce more methane than other types of food. Food waste, on the other hand, is easier for them to digest and produces less methane. Another way of reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation is by breeding animals that are less susceptible to it. There are already some breeds of cattle that produce less methane than others and there is ongoing research into developing even more methane-resistant breeds (Reducing methane emissions from cattle, n.d.).

3. The Food Industry

The food industry is currently responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions (Feeding the World Without Destroying the Planet, 2010) and this is projected to increase to 50% by 2050 if current trends continue (The Livestock Revolution, 2010). The main contributor to these emissions is CO2 from fossil fuel combustion, for example, from tractor use or from refrigeration units running on electricity generated from coal-fired power stations. In order to reduce the impact of the food industry on climate change we need to find ways of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. One way of doing this is by using more efficient farming techniques such as no-till agriculture which can reduce fuel use by up to 50% (No-tillage agriculture, 2016). another way of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is by using renewable energy sources such as solar power or wind power instead of coal-fired power stations. Solar power and wind power produce no emissions and so they would be a much cleaner way of powering the food industry.

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The amount of food that is wasted each year is staggeringly high, it is estimated that 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted each year (Feeding the World Without Destroying the Planet, 2010). This is enough to feed the world’s 795 million undernourished people 2 times over (The Livestock Revolution, 2010). One of the main reasons for this waste is that food is often advertised in a way that makes it look more appealing than it actually is. For example, some fruit and vegetables are sprayed with chemicals to make them look shiny and fresh, when in reality they may be old and past their best. This can lead to people buying food that they then don’t eat because it doesn’t look as good as they thought it would. Another reason for food waste is that we often buy more food than we need because we think that we will eat it all before it goes off. This is especially common with perishable foods such as milk or bread. We often buy these foods even though we know that we won’t finish them before they go off and so they end up getting thrown away.

5. mega food corporations

The current system of industrial agriculture is not sustainable, it is estimated that if we continue on our current trajectory then by 2050 we will need two planet’s worth of resources to sustain ourselves (The Livestock Revolution, 2010). This means that we are going to have to find ways of producing more food with fewer resources. One way of doing this is by moving away from industrial agriculture and towards more sustainable methods of agriculture such as organic farming or agroforestry. Organic farming uses far fewer inputs than industrial agriculture and so it is more sustainable in the long term. Agroforestry is another sustainable method of agriculture which involves growing trees and other plants alongside crops or animals. This has many benefits such as providing shade for the crops or animals, reducing soil erosion, and increasing biodiversity.

6. The general public

The general public is becoming more and more aware of the issues surrounding food production and they are starting to demand change. In the past, the general public has been largely unaware of the issues surrounding food production and they have been content to let mega food corporations dictate what they eat. However, this is starting to change as people are becoming more conscientious about the impact their diet has on their health, the environment, and animals. The rise of social media has played a huge role in this change as it has given people a platform to share information and connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world. The general public is now starting to demand change from the food industry and they are no longer content to let mega food corporations control what they eat.

7. Conclusion

In conclusion, the agricultural industry is going to have to make some big changes in the next 25 years in order to be able to sustain the world’s population. The livestock industry is going to have to increase production by at least 50% and the food industry is going to have to increase production by at least 60%. These increases in production are going to have to come from somewhere and they are going to have to come from more efficient methods of production. The current system of industrial agriculture is not sustainable and so we are going to have to

FAQ

There will be a lot of changes in agriculture over the next 25 years.

These changes will take place because of advances in technology, and also because of changes in the world economy.

These changes will have a big impact on farmers and the agricultural industry as a whole. Farmers will need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve, and they may face some challenges along the way.

Ultimately, these changes could mean good things for food production and security around the world. ["There will be a lot of changes in agriculture over the next 25 years.","These changes will take place because of advances in technology, and also because of changes in the world economy.","These changes will have a big impact on farmers and the agricultural industry as a whole. Farmers will need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve, and they may need to change the way they do business.","The challenges that could arise from these changes include competition from other countries, climate change, and new diseases or pests.","Ultimately, these changes could mean that food production becomes more efficient and less expensive, but there could also be problems with food security if something goes wrong."]