The food crisis

The Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has calculated that the global food production will have to increase by 70% (!) in order to continue meeting the growing demand.

Agriculture is literally of vital importance for the world. For a sufficient production, agriculture is initially extremely dependant on the soil and the climate. Continuing draught or rainfall cause crops failures. If crops fail, scarcity is created and the prices for our daily food rise. If this becomes too expensive, deep political unrest is quickly growing (see for instance the Arabic Spring).

According to the United Nations approximately 9 billion people will inhabit the earth in 2050. 70% of this population growth comes from the Arabic region and Asia.

Due to this explosive population growth the farmland per head of the population will become relatively scarcer. However, this scarcity will be also absolutely increased due to the rapidly advancing urbanisation and climate change.

Furthermore, an increasing amount of land and crop is used for the production of bio diesel and bio-ethanol. For instance, rape, wheat, maize and cane sugar.

During 2012 there was a growing unrest within various governments of Asian countries. Persisting draught in Northern as well as Southern America threatened the harvest of various crops, such as grain and soy. The threatening failure of the crops in the major export countries of soft-commodities called in memories of 2007/08. The high food prices of those days resulted in profound social unrest in about fifty countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Since then, undisturbed supply of food has been high on the agenda of many governments. Especially governments in Eastern Asia closely follow developments on the soft-commodities market.

The fast growing number of Asian inhabitants translates their social success into a more western oriented, protein-rich diet. This means that rice is changed for chicken, eggs, and meat and milk products.