Global Overview of Agriculture

Key Findings:

Shift towards protein diet and super food –

  • Quinoa production up 265%
  • Fish catch up 45.8%
  • Meat and Poultry production up 23.9%

Water intensity increases –

  • Agriculture accounts for 70.7% of global water withdrawal – the highest of all sectors
  • Renewable water resources cu m per capita down 11.2%, but water withdrawal in agriculture up 1 percentage point at a time when other sectors recorded a decrease

Farming land shrinking –

  • Agricultural land down 1.3%
  • More pressure on agricultural land expected as projected growth for urban population equals 24.6% between 2017 and 2030

Greater drive for productivity –

  • Global fertiliser consumption up 11.8%
  • Crop yield in developed countries growing despite shrinking land due to innovative technologies
  • Farming consolidation for scale and more expensive technology is on the rise

Emerging green revolution –

  • Initiatives/innovations leading to greater use of technology and less inputs such as water, sunlight, fertilisers and pesticides while maximising output is leading to the next wave of green revolution but more needs to be done as indicated by an increase in water usage and fertiliser consumption

Mixed picture for sustainable solutions –

  • Agro GHG emissions down in developed countries (0.3% in the EU, 7.5% in NAFTA, 4.0% in G8 and 3.0% in G20) due to a drop in nitrogen fertiliser between 2007 and 2009 and some livestock heads, but nitrogen fertiliser usage has increased since and actions to check water usage are insufficient

Agriculture and SDGs intertwined –

  • Agricultural solutions are key to attaining SDGs, but unless some SDGs (climate change) are materialised, food and income security are threatened