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 Earth’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 world’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