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A Post-Mortem on Long-Term Projections of Global Food Requirements

Author(s): Ira Sohn

Citation: Ira Sohn, (2012) "A Post-Mortem on Long-Term Projections of Global Food Requirements," Journal of Management Policy and Practice, Vol. 13, Iss. 4, pp. 67 - 87

Article Type: Research paper

Publisher: North American Business Press


World population grew from 3.7bn in 1970 to almost 7bn in 2010 and, by 2050, is projected to increase to over 9bn. Because of growing scarcities of essential agricultural inputs, which can take decades to mobilize in sufficient quantities, long-term projections of global food requirements are critical if the “ghost of Malthus” is to be kept at bay. This paper examines long-term, i.e. 30-year, global production and consumption projections of four major agricultural sectors. These projections, whose terminal year was 2000, are then assessed against observed data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Balance Sheets.