FAO, in a co-publishing arrangement with Earthscan Publications Ltd. (http://www.earthscan.co.uk), just released the report World agriculture: towards 2015/2030 - An FAO Perspective.
This report is FAO's latest assessment of the long-term outlook for the world's food supplies, nutrition and agriculture. It presents the projections and the main messages. The projections cover supply and demand for the major agricultural commodities and sectors, including fisheries and forestry. This analysis forms the basis for a more detailed examination of other factors, such as nutrition and undernourishment, and the implications for international trade. The report also investigates the implications of future supply and demand for the natural resource base and discusses how technology can contribute to more sustainable development.
One of the report's main findings is that, if no corrective action is taken, the target set by the World Food Summit in 1996 (that of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015) is not going to be met. Nothing short of a massive effort at improving the overall development performance will free the developing world of its most pressing food insecurity problems. The progress made towards this target depends on many factors, not least of which are political will and the mobilization of additional resources. Past experience underlines the crucial role of agriculture in the development process, particularly where the majority of the population still depends on this sector for employment and income.
A hardcopy of this report, as well as of the Summary report, can be ordered at http://www.fao.org/icatalog/inter-e.htm