Agriculture

The United Nations estimates that the world’s population will increase to 9 billion in 2050 from 6 billion today.

“Land is scarce and will become scarcer as the world has to double food output to satisfy increased demand by 2050. With limited land and water resources, this will automatically lead to increased valuations of productive land” – Joachim von Braun, director general at the International Food Policy Research Institute

Meat consumption in China, for example, tripled in the last 20 years as per capita income grew.

According to the USDA, nearly seven pounds of grain are needed to provide one pound of beef.

According to data from the United Nations, in 1960 there were 1.1 acres of arable farmland per capita globally. By 2000, that number had fallen to 0.6 acres.

According to the USDA, ethanol production in the U.S. has increased from less than 3 billion gallons in 2003 to over 6 billion gallons in 2007 and is estimated to exceed 12 billion gallons in 2020.

“Continued high grain and oilseed prices raise feed costs in the livestock sector, leading to reduced U.S. production of total meat and poultry production through 2011 and higher meat prices.” - USDA

“Sustained biofuel demand and strengthening global food demand after the current economic slowdown provide a major impetus for long-term projections of strong farm income.” – USDA

The CIA World Factbook estimates that only 10.57% of the earth’s surface is arable land.

“The number of undernourished people in the world increased in 2008 to 963 million, a leap of 115 million over the past two years.” – UN World Food Programme

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