Food security and the futures of farms – 2020 and toward 2050

Food security entails the challenges of overcoming today’s hunger, feeding a population that by 2050 is predicted to be more than 9 billion, and achieving all this in sustainable ways. World agriculture production and food systems are in a process of rapid transformation while food security remains highly unsatisfactory and appears increasingly at risk.

Populations connected with small farms include the majority of the world’s poor. What will be the future of small farms? And, what will be the role for large scale farming? What is and should be the appropriate responses to resource scarcity, for example land and water shortages, and to climate change? Technology and agricultural research investment (public and private) could facilitate innovation. How can this be accelerated and how can the access to improved technologies be enhanced?

This report of the Bertebos Conference 2010 outlines challenges and long-term outlooks for food security and the futures of farms. Speakers from China, Ethiopia, India, Brazil and Russia give their views on how small and large scale agriculture are developing in their countries and continents. Trends and possible scenarios for the future are presented. Certain threats will most probably be overcome. Others do require our urgent action.