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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Growing Food Intelligence

Growing Food Intelligence

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, October 9, 2017/Categories: video, sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change

                                                    Food Deficit Production Map (credit: FAO)

A food crisis of demand over taking supply could be only a decade away. Supply analyst and former commodities trader, Sara Menker says:

"We could have a tipping point in global food and agriculture if surging demand surpasses the agricultural system's structural capacity to produce food. People could starve and governments may fall."

Menker's now runs a fun and agricultural consulting group Gro-Intelligence that develops big-data production, supply, and distribution models. The latest models show the world will be short 214 trillion calories/year by 2027 and that only two places in the World currently have the capacity to produce extra food: in Brazil, but that would require massive deforestation of the Amazon rainforests; and in Africa, but that would require significant agricultural chemical inputs because soils in sub-Saharan Africa are mostly deficient in phosphorus, a key nutrient for plant growth. These severe environmental constraints in both regions will be limiting factors to growth and production there and her models didn't even include climate change impacts into the production calculations. It is obvious that new approaches to existing food production will be required.

Menker offers a vision of food production that considers the entire agricultural production and food supply system. She recommends a 'big data' information approach that is available to everyone as well as steps that could offer assistence to food producers both small and large, today. Unfortunately, in this fascinating analysis is how all this new approach will be paid for and by whom. She recognizes that agriculture historically has been slow to change so this future potential may still remain "a future":



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