Looking Into the Future for Agriculture and AKST | 355

provement in food security for the poor and in food sover­eignty for many regions. Progress is slowest in sub-Saharan Africa—despite rapid income growth and significant area and yield growth as well as substantial progress in sup­porting services that influence well-being outcomes, such as female secondary education, and access to clean drinking water. By 2050, there will be a reduction by only 7% in the number of malnourished children in sub-Saharan Africa.

     Alternative policy experiments show that with higher investments in AKST, the share of malnourished children in the group of developing countries is projected to decline from a baseline of 99 million by 2050 to only 74 million. If these higher investments in AKST are combined with im­provements in complementary service sectors, such as health and education, the projections show that an even greater re­duction, to 43 million, could be achieved. By contrast, either flatlined or slowed rates of investments in AKST will nega­tively affect regional food security and exacerbate childhood malnutrition, with levels that could easily surpass current malnutrition levels.

    Moreover, uncertainties regarding a whole range of emerging issues, ranging from public health and food safety to policies in the areas of climate change and bioenergy could worsen (or improve) projected quantitatively mod­eled outcomes.

5.6.3 Natural resources and environmental sustainability

Regarding  resources,  scarcity  is  expected to  become  a prominent challenge for policy makers. In particular, grow­ing water and land scarcity are projected to increasingly constrain food production growth with adverse impacts on food security and human well-being goals. Growth of population combined with shifts towards high land/fodder-intensive meat diets is resulting in additional demands for land. Although crop productivity is expected to increase (as described in the reference run) the uncertainty as to whether this productivity increase can actually be met is also increas­ing. The increased production of livestock is expected to come from the same or a declining resource base, and with­out appropriate action there are prospects that this could lead to degradation of land, water, and animal genetic re­sources in both intensive and extensive livestock systems. In addition, new demands on land for products such as biofuels (stimulated by concerns about climate change and energy self-sufficiency) are very likely to grow exponentially in the coming decades. This will not only impact food prices but will also lead to greater competition for land. The com­bination of demand factors will lead to rather grim impacts on biodiversity. The target of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity significantly by 2010 seems impossible to reach. Moreover, some policy options to reduce pressures on the natural sys­tem (e.g., climate mitigation strategies as described in this chapter) have a negative impact on biodiversity through ad­ditional land-use change required for biofuels.

     Water demand is projected to grow rapidly, particularly in developing countries. Irrigation remains the single largest water user over the 50-year projection period, but the in­crease in demand is much faster for domestic and industrial uses than for agriculture. Given significantly faster growth


in water demand in all sectors and declining water availabil­ity resulting from climate change in this baseline, developing countries are substantially more negatively affected by de­clining water supply reliability for irrigation and other uses than developed countries. This is especially so for develop­ing countries with arid climates, poor infrastructure devel­opment, and rapidly increasing populations. Overall, to satisfy future water demand and secure food supply, invest­ments in maintenance, new technology and policy reform in water and irrigation management are all necessary to maintain water supply reliability and to reduce water supply vulnerability for irrigation, especially in developing coun­tries. Besides water supply augmentation, demand manage­ment is also of high importance in balancing future water demand and supply. Other research indicates that more in­vestment in basin efficiency improvement would potentially bring similar effects in securing irrigation water supply as more investment is made in water infrastructures. Likewise, water saving technology and conservation measures in the industrial, rural and urban domestic sector would result in more reliable water supply in nonirrigation sectors and re­lieve the increasingly intensified intersectoral competition for water.

     On the fisheries front, although small pelagic species are robust, the behavior of the small pelagic fish towards the end of the modeled period (2048) indicate that policies of mining small pelagic fisheries to support a growing aquacul-ture industry may not be sustainable in the long-term except in a limited part of the world's oceans. Caution needs to be taken even with this interpretation since small pelagic fish are extremely sensitive to oceanographic changes and if the predictions for changes in sea temperature come about, the species dynamics within this group will change significantly with potential reverberating effects up through higher trophic levels since most animals, especially marine mammals and seabirds, rely on this group of fish for much of their food. Therefore, a policy of increasing landings would need to be carefully considered in the light of climate change.

     The tradeoffs between increased income for small farm­ers via crop production for food and fuel, livestock pro­duction, conservation and marketing of native varieties and species, and soil and water management for sustainability, will require a balancing act over the next 50 years. However, synergies do exist; biofuel crops, biotechnology, ICT, food safety standards, and globalization and trade liberalization can offer new opportunities to smallholders—if supporting policies and investments are implemented—and large agri­cultural producers alike making an ever more diverse range of products available to consumers.

5.7 Implications for AKST in the Future

As the reference world in 2050 and the various policy dis­cussions show, agriculture will have to face a number of new and difficult challenges. Food security and food sover­eignty are likely to still be problems 50 years from now. Ag­ricultural production is likely to be increasingly constrained by competition for land and water and by climate change. Strategies for adapting to new regulations for food safety, and the development of biotechnology and bioenergy pose significant challenges and opportunities.