The great balancing act: Creating a sustainable food future

Tim Searchinger, Craig Hanson, Janet Ranganathan, Brian Lipinski, Richard Waite, Robert Winterbottom, Ayesha Dinshaw and Ralph Heimlich
World Resources Institute
Resource type:
Advocacy and policy

How can the world feed 9 billion people by 2050? This is the central question in a report by the World Resources Institute. To answer it, the authors argue that a balancing act is required between three needs: First, we must close the gap between the amount of food available today and the amount required in 2050 because of predicted increases in global population. Second, agriculture must become more inclusive - according to the World Bank, growth in the agricultural sector can reduce poverty more effectively than growth arising from other economic sectors. Third, agriculture’s impact on the environment must be reduced. For example, it is the dominant cause of tropical deforestation. The report offers a menu for a sustainable food future against these three challenges, which has relevance for all sectors. Unquestionably, it asserts that this menu can only be achieved if collaboration takes place.

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed