One Quarter of World's Agricultural Land "Highly Degraded", UN Report Concludes
On Monday, the UN released the results of the first ever global study on the state of Earthâ€™s land. The main finding: 25 percent of all land is highly degraded making it unsuitable for agriculture. The implications of this finding are enormous; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that farm output must increase by 70 percent by 2050 to accommodate the food needs of an estimated 9 billion humans.
That translates into another billion tons of grain foods and 200 million tons of livestock meat (note: as standards of living rise in developing nations, the demand for high-quality meat also rises).
The problem or challenge here is that most of the worldâ€™s arable land is already being farmed, and often using primitive or unsustainable farming practices. These practices (e.g., over-tilling) can lead to soil erosion, loss of surface water and loss of biodiversity.
For further information: http://www.matternetwork.com/2011/12/one-quarter-worlds-agricultural-land.cfm