308 | IAASTD Global Report

Key Messages

1. Quantitative projections indicate a tightening of world food markets, with increasing resource scarcity, adversely affecting poor consumers. Real world prices of most cereals and meats are projected to increase in the coming decades, dramatically reversing trends from the past several decades. Price increases are driven by both demand and supply factors. Population growth and strengthening of economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, together with already high growth in Asia and moderate growth in Latin America drive increased growth in demand for food. Rapid growth in meat and milk demand is projected to put pres­sure on prices for maize and other coarse grains and meals. Bioenergy demand is projected to compete with land and water resources. Growing scarcities of water and land are projected to increasingly constrain food production growth, causing adverse impacts on food security and human well-being goals. Higher prices can benefit surplus agricultural producers, but can reduce access to food by a larger number of poor consumers, including farmers who do not produce a net surplus for the market. As a result, progress in reducing malnutrition is projected to be slow.

2. Improved Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Tech­nology (AKST) helps to reduce the inevitable tradeoffs between agricultural growth and environmental sus-tainability at the global scale. AKST can help to maximize the socioeconomic benefits of extracting natural resources from a limited resource base, through increasing water pro­ductivity and intensifying crop, livestock and fish production. Without appropriate AKST development further production increases could lead to degradation of land, water and ge­netic resources in both intensive and extensive systems.

3. Growing pressure on food supply and natural re­sources require new investments and policies for AKST. Tightening food markets indicate that a business-as-usual approach to financing and implementing AKST cannot meet the development and sustainability goals of reduction of hunger and poverty, the improvement of rural livelihoods and human health and equitable, environmen­tally sustainable development. Innovative AKST policies are essential to build natural, human and physical capital for social and environmental sustainability. Such policies will also require more investment in AKST. Important invest­ments supporting increased supply of and access to food include those in agricultural research and development, ir­rigation, rural roads, secondary education for girls, and ac­cess to safe drinking water.

4. Continuing structural changes in the livestock sec­tor, driven mainly by rapid growth in demand for live­stock products, bring about profound changes in live­stock production systems. Structural changes in the live­stock sector have significant implications for social equity, the environment and public health. Projected increases in livestock numbers to 2050 vary by region and species, but substantial growth opportunities exist for livestock produc­ers in the developing world. The availability of animal feed will however affect both the rate and extent of this growth,


since competition is growing between animal and aquacul-ture feeds that both use fishmeal and fish oil. Livestock feeds made with fish products contribute to superior growth and survival but are increasing prices and consumption of fish-meal and fish oil in the aquaculture sector. The correspond­ing decrease in the use of these products in the livestock sector, especially for pigs and poultry, can affect production and increase prices. Moreover, declining resource availabil­ity could lead to degradation of land, water, and animal ge­netic resources in both intensive and extensive livestock sys­tems. In grassland-based systems, grazing intensity (number of animals per ha of grazing land) is projected to increase by 50% globally, and by up to 70% in Latin America. In addition to the potential environmental impacts of more in­tensive livestock production systems, the sector faces major challenges in ensuring that livestock growth opportunities do not marginalize smallholder producers and other poor people who depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Other tradeoffs are inevitably going to be required between food security, poverty, equity, environmental sus­tainability, and economic development. Sustained public policy action will be necessary to ensure that livestock sys­tem development can play its role as a tool for growth and poverty reduction, even as global and domestic trends and economic processes create substantial opportunities for sec­tor growth.

5. Growing water constraints are a major driver of the future of AKST. Agriculture continues to be the largest user of freshwater resources in 2050 for all regions, although its share is expected to decline relative to industrial and do­mestic uses. Sectoral competition and water scarcity related problems will intensify. Reliability of agricultural water supply is projected to decline without improved water man­agement policies. There is substantial scope to improve wa­ter management in both rainfed and irrigated agriculture. AKST and supporting interventions geared towards water conserving and productivity enhancement in rainfed and irrigated agriculture are needed to offset impacts of water scarcity on the environment and risks to farmers.

6. There is significant scope for AKST and supporting policies to contribute to more sustainable fisheries, by reducing the overfishing that has contributed to grow­ing scarcity of resources and declining supplies of fish in the world's oceans. To date, AKST and supporting policies have not contributed to halting overfishing of the world's oceans. There are some initiatives to rebuild deplet­ed stocks, but recovery efforts are quite variable. A common and appropriate policy response is to take an ecosystem ap­proach to fisheries management but many governments are still struggling to translate guidelines and policies into effec­tive intervention actions. Other policy options have includ­ed eliminating perverse subsidies, establishing certification, improving monitoring, control and surveillance, reducing destructive fishing practices such as bottom trawling bans, expanding marine protected areas and changing fishing ac­cess agreements. There are also policy responses to reduce efforts in industrial scale fishing in many areas, while also supporting small-scale fisheries through improved access to prices and market information and increasing awareness