Estimates, interpretation, implications

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The results are presented in Table 3.21. The following comments apply:

1. For the world as a whole, the trend towards further slowdown in total production (= total use at the world level) would continue under the assumptions used here and the growth rate would fall from the 1.8 percent p.a. projected in this study for 1988/90-2010 to 1.3 percent in 2010-25. This would happen even if: (a) the developing regions with low per caput food supplies in 2010 (sub-Saharan Africa and to a smaller extent South Asia) were to experience the quantum jump required to achieve the minimum target of 2700 calories by year 2025; and (b) the better-off developing regions would continue to register some further gains in per caput food supplies.

2. It follows that if the world as a whole could achieve a growth rate of agricultural production of 1.3 percent in 2010-25, then it would be reasonable to conclude that global capacity to grow more food would not be a major obstacle to achieving the minimum standards of food security implied by the targets assumed here.

3. However, this scenario requires hefty increases in total supplies for some individual countries and regions. If these regions cannot make their domestic production grow at the rates projected for their total domestic use, this scenario would be feasible only if: (a) the production of other regions can grow faster than their respective demand; and (b) trade flows and patterns can be generated to match regional surpluses and deficits.

4. The most obvious case of dependence of this scenario outcome on significant changes in the existing (or projected for 2010) net agricultural trade balances of the different regions is that of sub-Saharan Africa. The total supplies for domestic use in the region are required to grow at 4.9 percent p.a. in 2010-15 (roughly, 2.6 percent for population growth, 1.5 percent to raise per caput calorie supplies to 2700 and 0.8 percent to account for the above-mentioned increase in the amount of agricultural products per calorie). If, for the sake of example, the region could sustain a production growth rate no higher than 3.5 percent p.a. in 2010 , then the achievement of the target of 2700 would only be compatible with greatly widening agricultural deficits and hefty declines in self sufficiency. In practice, sub-Saharan Africa would be required to become like Near East/North Africa, with aggregate self-sufficiency (all products) falling from the projected 98 percent in 2010 to 80 percent in 2025 (it was 117 percent in 1969/71 and had fallen to 104 percent by 1988/90). And this is assuming that the rest of the world could generate the required net surplus, a not unreasonable assumption given the relative magnitudes involved (a large deficit by African standards would be a small proportion of the rest of the world output in 2025, about 2 percent).

Table 3.21 Growth of total availabilities of agricultural products to meet specified consumption levels by 2025


Population (million)*


Volume of agric. products/caloric (index: world 1988/90 = 100)

Growth rates (% p.a.)

Total domestic use


1989 2010 2025 1988/
2010 2025 1988/
2010 2025 1988/90 -2010|| 2010-25 1989- 2010 2010-25
World* 5148 7073 8382 2700 2880 3000 100 101 101 1.8 1.3 1.5 1.1
Developed 1245 1405 1484 3400 3470 3470 170 170 170 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.4
Developing (93countries) 3903 5668 6898 2470 2740 2900 78 84 86 2.7 1.8 1.8 1.3
Africa, sub-Sahara 471 874 1282 2100 2170 2700 63 62 70 3.1 4.9 3.0 2.6
Near East/ North Africa 301 513 674 3010 3130 3180 92 94 95 2.9 2.0 2.6 1.8
South Asia 1092 1617 1941 2215 2450 2700 65 70 74 2.7 2.2 1.9 1.2
East Asia (incl.China) 1612 2070 2307 2600 3045 3060 78 91 91 2.7 0.8 1.2 0.7
Lat. America +Caribbean 427 593 694 2690 2950 3030 116 120 121 2.2 1.3 1.6 1.1

*Data and projections for the 127 countries of this study. The world total population, including the countries not included here is as follows (million): 1989, 5202; 2010, 7150; and 2025, 8472. All the population data and projections in this table are from the 1992 UN Assessment (UN, 1993b) and as such they are somewhat different from those underlying the projections in other parts of this study.
Per caput calories for 2010 as projected in this study by country. The regional totals are slightly different from those in other tables because for this table they are aggregated using the new population data.
Levels specified for 2025 (see text).
Computed from the projections of total domestic use and calories of this study.
Computed using the estimated elasticity (0.566) of volume of agricultural products used per calorie with respect to calories/caput.
Growth rates for 1988/90-2010 slightly different from those reported elsewhere in this study due to the differences in the population projections.


5. The preceding considerations lead to a number of conclusions. First, if sub-Saharan Africa were not to have the financial resources to emulate the Near East/North African pattern of increasing dependence on imported food, the achievement of the 2700 calories/caput target becomes problematic. Second, this conclusion depends on the assumption that its agricultural growth rate would not exceed 3.5 percent p.a. in 2010-25 (0.9 percent p.a. in per caput terms). This assumption may be challenged, but it is noted that even East Asian-type performance would not deliver growth of agricultural production of nearly 5.0 percent p.a. for 15 years. Third, the achievement of a growth rate of effective demand for agricultural products of 4.9 percent p.a. for 2010-25 (2.3 percent p.a. in per caput terms) would depend on achievement of growth rates of incomes implying East-Asia-type economic performance for 2010 25,25 and this after the projected near stagnation in per caput incomes in sub-Saharan Africa up to 2010.

6. The preceding discussion concentrated on sub-Saharan Africa because it is the region in which the period 2010-25 needs to be very much unlike anything that happened in the past or projected for up to 2010. By contrast, the growth rates of demand projected for the other regions for 2010 25 are invariably below, and sometimes well below (e.g. for East Asia), those projected and, by and large considered feasible, for up to the year 2010. The only other region for which demand would need to grow at over 2.0 percent in 2010-25 is South Asia (2.2 percent p.a.). Would South Asia's production be able to grow at about this rate? Its highest historical growth rate on record for 15 years is the one of 197792 (3.4 percent), while the production growth rate projected for 1988/ 90-10 is 2.8 percent p.a. A growth rate of 2.2 percent for 2010-25 would not be too optimistic in the light of historical trends. Still, its achievement should not be taken for granted, given the increasing scarcities of land and irrigation as well as the tendency for yields to grow less fast than in the past. Much will depend on the continuation of the generation and diffusion of technology to maintain and underpin further growth in yields and on the exploitation of the scope for more efficient use of water in irrigation. Finally, it is noted that the overall economic conditions for this configuration of growth rates in demand and production to be feasible are certainly much less stringent for South Asia than the challenging ones for sub-Saharan Africa. For example, South Asia's required GDP growth rates (3.0 4.0 percent p.a. for 201025, depending on the size of the demand elasticity) are well within the realm of realism.

7. The Near East/North Africa region starts from relatively high levels of per caput food supplies which are projected to improve further by year 2010. Therefore little further growth in this variable would be required for the period 2010-25 on the assumptions used here. However, the region is projected to continue to have relatively high population growth rates beyond 2010, 1.8 percent p.a. which is the second highest population growth rate of all regions after sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, the region has little potential for land expansion and water scarcities are severe, particularly if Turkey, which is part of the region, is excluded from the totals. Maintenance of its low agricultural self-sufficiency, projected at 77 percent for 2010 (79 percent in 1988/90, 98 percent in 1969/71), would require production to grow at 2.0 percent in 2010-25. Land and water scarcities have been present for a long time, yet the region has recorded respectable production growth rates consistently in the past (no 15-year period growth rate has been less than 2.8 percent and the highest one was 3.3 percent in 1977-92) and the projections of this study indicate a growth rate of 2.7 percent p.a. for 1988/90 2010. Therefore, on the evidence of past trends and assessed prospects for up to 2010, the production growth rate of 2.0 percent p.a. does not appear as overly optimistic. The implication is that the region's self-sufficiency should not decline further appreciably beyond the year 2010, provided demand growth were to be contained at 2.0 percent p.a. as assumed here.

8. The other two regions (East Asia, Latin America and Caribbean) are currently net agricultural exporters and are projected to remain so up to the year 2010. Latin America is by far the largest and growing net exporter, East Asia is a much smaller and nearly static one. The further significant declines in their population growth rates beyond 2010 and the nearly 3000 calories/caput projected for 2010 imply fairly low growth rates of domestic demand for after 2010 (see Table 3.21). Their potential for production growth would be sufficient to match these growth rates. Eventually, and especially for Latin America and Caribbean, even higher growth rates of domestic demand and/or net exports could be accommodated by the potential for production growth to be even higher than implied by the demand growth rates.

9. The preceding considerations for the developing regions can help define the possible role of the developed countries' agriculture. The assumption used here is that the 3470 calories per caput projected here for year 2010 would only need to be maintained, rather than increase further, up to year 2025. Their domestic demand would, therefore, need to grow at the projected population growth rate, 0.4 percent for 2010-25. How much faster their production may need to grow to generate a growing net surplus for the developing countries will depend on how large the collective net deficits of the latter may grow to be. If the production of each developing region were to grow at the same rate as its own demand, their collective net import requirements from the developed countries would increase only modestly. Such an outcome would not afford much scope for the production of the developed countries to grow appreciably above the 0.4 percent p.a. growth rate of their own demand. However, if sub-Saharan Africa's production growth rate were not to exceed 3.5 percent while its demand grew at the rate of 4.9 percent, the resulting deficit could be supplied if the developed countries' combined production grew at 0.8 percent p.a. for 2010-25, that is nearly the growth rate projected for them in 1988/90-2010. If this configuration of growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa were considered unlikely, as well it might be, the demands on the developed countries' agriculture would be more modest; they would be even more so if Latin America's agricultural potential were to assert itself in the form of higher production growth rates than the modest ones assumed here. By and large it seems reasonable to think that the agricultural growth of the developed countries would need to be in the range 0.5 0.8 percent p.a. for beyond 2010.

Overall conclusions

1. The preceding discussion indicates that for the world as a whole the trend for the agricultural growth rate to decline which was established in the last 30 years and is projected for up to 2010 could well continue after this latter year.

2. With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, the developing countries would probably experience agricultural growth requirements which imply lower growth than in the past and that projected for up to 2010.

3. The demands placed on the agriculture of the developed countries by the possible evolution in the developing countries could be accommodated by a production growth rate in the former which would be lower than in the past.

4. For the most populous region with food problems at present and projected for 2010 (South Asia) progress beyond 2010 towards an improved food security situation could be accommodated within an agriculture growing less rapidly than in the past. If this were not to happen, e.g. if the production growth rate were to be 2.0 percent p.a. rather than the required 2.2 percent, the additional demand for food imports could be accommodated by a marginal rise of the agricultural growth rate of the developed countries.

5. For sub-Saharan Africa, the initial conditions (population growth and present per caput food supplies, assuming the data on the latter do not systematically underestimate food availabilities) and those foreseen for the medium term are very unfavourable and make the achievement of the target for per caput food supplies problematic by 2025. This prospect underlines the urgency for starting an all out effort now with international assistance, so that more progress than projected here can be made by 2010 and lay the foundation for reaching the modest target by 2025.

Environmental issues in a wider perspective

One would like to conclude this discussion with an analytically documented statement on whether future agricultural growth, even at lower rates than in the past, is a sustainable proposition. The insights gained by analyses for up to year 2010 were referred to above. Even these insights were anecdotal and certainly not definitive or sufficiently documented. It is impossible to conduct for up to the year 2025 even the limited analyses attempted for up to 2010 without re-making the entire study. To do so would involve decomposition of the assumed normative levels of per caput food supplies into individual commodities, assumptions about future trade flows that will influence the location of production increases, fairly detailed analyses of the land and water use implications for producing these products, identification of the evolution of the inter-commodity technical coefficients (e.g. the cereals and oilseeds input per unit of livestock output) and speculation on the possible technological breakthroughs that will affect growth of yields, use of agrochemicals, irrigation management and the like. The analyses to 2010 indicate that: (a) pressures on environmental resources will continue to rise leading to further reductions in the stocks of such resources, though the reductions of the natural habitat resulting from agricultural expansion into new lands of the type projected for up to 2010 would not probably be very large in relation to the existing stocks of land with crop production potential; (b) technologies useful for putting agricultural production on to a more sustainable path will probably continue to be developed; and (c) the question of whether the trade-offs between environmental resources and more production will conform to some notion of tolerable environmental cost cannot be answered in a definitive manner, given the present state of knowledge and the uncertainties concerning future developments in technology.

What is a tolerable environmental cost is, of course, an anthropocentric concept which "legitimizes" the use even "overuse", of environmental resources so long as the benefits generated by such use are perceived (by individuals, by society as a whole) to outweigh those associated with resource conservation. Even if one were to define a tolerable environmental cost as that which: (a) ensures preservation of sufficient potential for agricultural production for future generations; and (b) leaves enough environmental resources intact to perform other essential life-support functions (carbon cycle, biodiversity), or because a mere "existence" value is recognized to them, one would not have moved very far towards defining the concept in an objective manner, e.g. in terms of a minimum amount of natural habitat that must be left intact. For, in the end, it is the relative valuation of present versus future benefits in the utility functions of individuals and society that will determine the outcome. The higher the urgency to satisfy present needs, the more the balance will be tipped in favour of present consumption. Naturally, not all societies will have the same priorities on these matters, even when their living standards are, in some conventional "objective" sense, identical. Different forms of institutional organization of societies for decision making will likely give expression to different priorities.

When it comes to considering the evolution over time of relative preferences juxtaposing food to environmental conservation, the limitations imposed by physiological factors to the growth of per caput consumption of food assume particular importance. The existence of an upper bound to per caput food consumption together with the progressive slowdown in population growth point to the direction of progressively diminishing relative preference of mankind for more food and consequent upgrading of the value attached to the benefits of conservation of land and water resources. We already witness manifestations of the shift of preferences in the policies of high-income countries with high food consumption levels. Population growth, particularly the kind that increases the number of people with low food consumption levels, postpones the timing of the onset of this type of change in relative preferences. This notwithstanding, the operation of the above-mentioned forces may eventually lead to a steady-state world agricultural output with enough per caput production to satisfy the needs of all people, even after accounting for inequalities in distribution and access to food. At present, there is no way of making any definitive statements about the prospect that the path of getting from here to there will be a sustainable one, nor whether the eventual steady state output can be reproduced year after year in a sustainable manner.

Viewing only the food production aspects of the environmental issue associated with progress towards improved food security can lead to erroneous conclusions as to the possibility of the world treading a sustainable path to a situation of food security for all. This is because the food security problem is often less one of capabilities to increase food production, particularly when considering the world as a whole, and more one of capabilities to increase the incomes of the poor and eventually eliminate poverty. Many countries representing a high proportion of world population are far from having reached a stage of economic development which assures minimum incomes compatible with food security to everyone. The issue of what are sustainable paths to food security must therefore be restated as sustainable paths to economic development and poverty elimination in, mainly, the poor countries. The role of agriculture and environmental constraints related to food production play a role here, but the overall picture may well be dominated by environmental constraints other than those pertaining to agricultural resources. One example is the capacity of the ecosystem to absorb the impact of greatly increased use of energy which accompanies overall economic growth.

The rate of economic growth required for poverty elimination is uncertain. Progress towards poverty reduction which is partly based on a more equal distribution of incomes and appropriate public policies will tend to lower the overall economic growth rate required for poverty elimination. However, the initial conditions and the process of economic growth are such that a high share of the increment of world GDP will accrue to the non-poor. This being so, the issue is not whether the world could generate in an environmentally sustainable way the increment in GDP which, if it accrued wholly to the poor, would be sufficient to eliminate the poverty. It is rather that making the incomes of the poor grow is an integral part of a growth process that cannot generally be sustained unless the incomes of the non-poor also rise, e.g. when the economic growth of the export-oriented developing countries depends on that of the high-income countries. It follows, therefore, that world GDP will have to grow to be much larger than today if poverty is to be eliminated. The environmental consequences and constraints to achieving a much larger world GDP might well be the more binding constraint rather than the more narrow agricultural resource constraints to increasing food production.

Casting the problem in these terms does not absolve one from the need to address the question of whether the agricultural resource constraints are likely to stand in the way of achieving food security for all. It is difficult to provide a straightforward global answer but the following considerations are relevant: (a) in a world without frontiers and free movement of-people and/or having conditions for greatly expanded food trade the binding character of such constraints, if they exist, would be greatly diminished; and (b) there are many countries in which both food supplies and an overwhelming part of their economy depend on local agriculture. If their agricultural resources are poor, it is entirely appropriate to speak of agricultural resource constraints standing in the way of solving the food security problem even if one knew for certain that the world as a whole had sufficient resources to grow as much food as required to meet the needs of the growing world population.

Climate change and long-term food prospects

No discussion of longer term aspects of the world food-population balance and food security would be complete without at least a fleeting reference to climate change. It is not the object of these comments to delve into the scientific uncertainties surrounding the extent to which the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will eventually raise mean temperatures, nor on how agriculture (in its production aspects, in particular yields) may be affected in the different zones and latitudes. These issues are discussed briefly in Chapter 11 and a full treatment is to be found in the existing specialist literature, including a forthcoming FAO publication (Norse and Sombroek, forthcoming). The object is rather to address the issue of whether valid inferences can be drawn about possible socioeconomic impacts (in particular those related to food security) of the changes in the natural environment of agricultural production which are hypothesized to occur 50 years or more into the future.

As noted in the Editor's Preface, the longer the time horizon of any forward looking exercise in food and agriculture, the more difficult it becomes for periods beyond 10-20 years to define the exogenous assumptions such as population growth, overall economic development and prevalence of poverty. Yet, any relevant analysis must be based on specification of such variables in the detail required to identify countries and population groups whose food security might be vulnerable to changes in the conditions of agriculture. It is predominantly the future state of these variables that will determine the capacity of different societies to respond to change; and all this even before considering the prospect that technology may be very different in 50 years and indeed how technology may develop in response to climate change. In practice, one would need a credible reference scenario (how the situation would be without climate change) on which to superimpose and explore climate change effects. For example, climate change effects on the productivity of agricultural resources in the middle and low latitudes are commonly predicted to be negative (increased weather variability, higher moisture stress of crops). It is reasonable to predict that if today's low-income countries in these latitudes were to be still low income with widespread poverty and undernutrition and high dependence on their agriculture 50 years from now, the adverse effects on their food security would be severe.

Adverse impacts on them would be generated from two main sources: (a) the deterioration of the production potential of their own agricultural resources, threatening not only their food supplies but also their very livelihoods if such resources were still to be their main economic asset for employment and income (Schelling, 1992); and (b) if the net global effect would be to reduce the food production potential of the world as a whole, world food prices would be higher than they would otherwise be. When this happens it is the poor that are priced out of the market, while the non-poor are affected much less in their economic well-being and even less in their food security. It is for this reason that any investigation of climate change effects on food security must take into account the socioeconomic conditions that will prevail in the future: which countries and population groups will continue to be poor and depend heavily for a living on local agricultural resources.

Some attempts have been made to explore these issues and speculate on the socioeconomic effects of changes in agricultural production and productivity, resulting from a doubling of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and alternative assumptions about changes in mean temperatures and their knock on effects on agriculture, as expressed mainly in lower or higher cereal yields in the different zones. Rosenzweig and Parry (1994) have elaborated a scenario to the year 2060 in which the net effect of climate change is shown to be negative as concerns world average cereal yields and global production, i.e. both would be lower than they would have teen otherwise. Cereal prices would be higher and so would the incidence of undernutrition However, the essence of these negative effects on food security of the assumed changes in: the physical parameters of agriculture depends on the kind of economy and society depicted in their reference scenario (without climate change) and its capability to respond to shocks. In the event, their reference scenario depicts a situation of significantly higher food prices in the future and of greater undernutrition than at present.

The results presented in this chapter, but also those of other studies, paint a different picture of the future to 2010, one with still significant undernutrition, but on the decline, and with food prices not very different from present ones. The further discussion in this section of issues of world food-population balance to the year 2025 indicates that conditions exist for further slow progress to be made in conquering undernutrition. To consider that in the normal course of events things would be getting worse rather than better (albeit painfully slowly in some areas) would be tantamount to ignoring the great strides in development that are being made in much of Asia, the region with over one-half the world population. In conclusion, the world could be in a much better position to respond to climate change shocks than assumed in the reference scenario of Rosenzweig and Parry. Consequently, the climate change effects on food security could be not as dire as predicted in their study.

What is certain is the fact that the effects of climate change will not be confined to the countries and regions in which they occur. Impacts will be diffused throughout the world through trade and the consequent inter-regional adjustments, a factor which will play an expanding role in the future compared with the past and present. This point is made in a study by Tobey et al. (1992) which challenges the hypothesis of serious impacts of climate change on world food production. Unfortunately, their study does not have a sufficiently fine geographical breakdown of the distribution of impacts, e.g. all the developing countries, except Argentina, Brazil, China and Thailand, are lumped together into a "rest of the world" total. Yet it is the impact on particular low-income countries and regions (e.g. South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa) that is of decisive importance for drawing inferences about food security implications of climate change. Still the point is well taken that inter-regional adjustments through trade will act as shock absorbers of climate change impacts affecting the agriculture of the individual regions. It remains to define a reference scenario showing how well the different low-income countries and regions may be integrated into the world economy and trading system in the future so that they can "export" eventual negative effects of climate change on their agriculture.

In conclusion, predicting, or speculating about, socioeconomic or more narrow food security impacts of climate change will continue to tax the ingenuity of modellers. This is because the purely scientific uncertainties about climate change and its effects on agriculture are compounded by the far greater ones surrounding the prospects for socioeconomic and technological evolution of humankind for periods of 50 or more years. This notwithstanding, the statement made above still stands and does not need support from modelling insights. That is, any climate change that would cause the production potential of agricultural resources to deteriorate in the countries with food security problems and high dependence on agriculture can prove catastrophic for their welfare. This would still be the case even if climate change were to bring significant improvements in the productive potential of resources in the higher latitudes and result in the net increase in the global potential. In practice, the underlying theme is the same as that discussed elsewhere in this book: the link between the global production potential and food security is weak for populations trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, poor agricultural resources, high dependence on them and limited or no access to the actual or potential global plenty.


1. The use of exogenous assumptions about the overall economy as an input into the analysis of possible developments in food and agriculture is not entirely appropriate for the countries where agriculture has a large weight in the overall economy, in practice many developing countries. Indeed, the development literature tends to place increasing emphasis on the role of agriculture and the rural sector for promoting overall economic growth in these countries (see Chapter 7). There is, however, precious little by way of empirical estimates covering a large enough number of countries as to what the relevant relationships are, concretely how the rates and patterns of agricultural and overall growth influence each other. This being the case, the approach used in this study, just as in many other studies of agriculture, accounts for influences from the overall economy on agriculture (mainly through the income growth-demand growth link) but not the other way round.

2. The UN Population Assessment of 1992 (UN, 1993b, not used in this study) indicates a lower projected population for the sub-Saharan region of this study (874 million rather than the 915 million used here) and a growth rate of 3.0 percent p.a. rather than 3.2 percent. This is not necessarily an optimistic outcome because the projected lower population in some countries reflects the increased mortality rates due to the AIDS pandemic. For the 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa for which AIDS effects were estimated, the projected life expectancy at birth for the period 2000-05 is 51.2 years compared with 57.7 (without AIDS) and the total projected population for the year 2005 is 297 million (310 million without AIDS). The projections for the other regions are also somewhat different. Revisions of the UN population projections made in 1994 reduced further sub-Saharan Africa's projected 2010 population to 834 million (a growth rate of 2.9 percent p.a. for 1990-2010) and the world total to 7.0 billion (UN, 1994). The population projections of the UN assessments of 1990, 1992 and 1994 are shown in Appendix 3.

3. These are net imports of all the developing countries, after deduction of projected net exports of the exporting developing countries of some 30 million tonnes (up from 17 million tonnes in 1988/90 and 14 million tonnes in 1969/71). The net imports of the importing developing countries are projected at some 190 million tonnes by the year 2010 (up from 106 million tonnes in 1988/90 and 34 million tonnes in 1969/71).

4. Concern is often expressed at the burgeoning food deficits of "Africa". In practice most of the increases in net cereal imports originated in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt) rather than in the sub-Saharan region. Thus, in 1988/90 net imports in North Africa were 19.4 million tonnes (up from 2.7 million tonnes in 1969/71) and in sub-Saharan Africa 8.1 million tonnes (2.7 million tonnes in 1969/71). It is underlined that the estimated import requirements in no way refer to any notion of Africa's "food deficit", a term often used in a normative sense and variously estimated as the difference between domestic production and total consumption requirements to meet some normative target of per caput consumption.

5. China is not included in this analysis of production prospects by agroecological zone because of lack of the relevant data, i.e. the breakdown of current crop production and of land reserves by zone. In addition, there are some indications that the available data for China understate area and overstate yields in China's agriculture (State Statistical Bureau of the People's Republic of China, 1990: 315). China (Mainland)'s cereals production was 313 million tonnes in 1988/90, double that of 1969/71. The working assumption used in this study is that the growth rate of production would be lower in the future and production in year 2010 would be about 50 percent above that of 1988/90. Cereals include wheat, coarse grains and milled rice. If yields are actually overstated in the official statistics, there is more scope for production growth through increases in yields than commonly thought (see Johnson, D. G., 1994a). This is one of the reasons why, unlike other studies, this study does not project large net cereal imports for China.

6. Only meat, milk and eggs are considered here. Other livestock products are not analysed separately in the study, e.g. wool, hides and skins and animal fats, though the latter are included in the demand and nutrition analysis.

7. There are a number of reasons for the projected slowdown in China. In the first place, rapid growth in per caput meat consumption in the historical period started from very low levels of 30 years ago (4.5kg in 1961/63) and received new impetus after the reforms of the late 1970s, to reach 23.5 kg in 1988/90. The growth rate of per caput consumption was 5.7 percent in 1970 90. If growth were to continue as per trend, it would reach 75kg in year 2010. This is nearly the European level and unlikely for a country at the level of development that China may reach in the next 20 years. Moreover, a continuation of trends of meat production at the rate of the last 20 years would probably put an intolerable strain on the cereals and oilseeds sectors, with feed demand translating into large import requirements. Feed now takes 55 60 million tonnes of cereals in China, or 17-18 percent of total use of wheat, milled rice and coarse grains. The per caput meat consumption projected in this study would still be a respectable 49kg/caput in year 2010. It would translate into a production growth rate of 4.5 percent p.a.

8. Recent valuation of per caput incomes on the basis of the purchasing power of currencies (PPC) by the World Bank raises the "conventional" estimate for China for 1991 from $370 (per caput GNP, World Bank Atlas method) to $2040 (per caput GDP), a factor of 5.5. This factor is considerably lower for the middle-income countries, e.g. 1.4 for Brazil, 2.2 for Turkey and 2.5 for Chile (World Bank, 1993a, Tables 1,30).

9. In particular, the inclusion of plantains in this group creates problems. It is meant to capture the similarities with roots and tubers in food consumption and nutrition in several countries in the humid tropics. However, it is not always easy to distinguish between the role of plantains in food consumption and nutrition from that of bananas proper consumed as fruit. For the purpose of food consumption analysis, plantains may be considered to be bananas that are picked green and cooked before eating (see FAO, 1979, 1990b). Several countries, particularly in Central America are reported as having fairly high levels of per caput consumption of bananas (40 SO kg). The picture is further complicated by the consumption of both bananas and plantains after fermentation in the form of alcoholic beverages.

10. The OECD countries as a whole have gone through a phase of declining per caput consumption. Both health reasons and policies of high sugar prices in many countries have contributed to shift demand to alternative sweeteners, e.g. corn sweeteners in the USA and non-caloric sweeteners in most countries. It is expected that the phase of declining per caput consumption is coming to an end and per caput consumption in the developed countries as a whole would tend to stabilize at about present levels of 37 kg. The most recent projections for the USA indicate a rise in per caput domestic disappearance by about a pound by the year 2000 (USDA, 1993a).

11. The prospects for the sugar sector discussed here are mainly based on work by FAO and the International Sugar Organization and assume no major policy changes towards significant liberalization of sugar trade (FAO, 1992b). If there is significant reduction in support and protection of the sugar sector in major OECD countries, it can be expected that increased sugar production and exports from the low-cost producers (developing countries, but also Australia and South Africa) will tend to substitute for some of the production in the highly protected markets. In the event, the application of the provisions of the Uruguay Round are not likely to have significant impacts on the sugar trade flows of the major OECD countries. If reforms changed preferential market access arrangements (e.g. under the EC's ACP sugar protocol or the USA's Caribbean Basin Initiative), some of the benefiting countries would be adversely affected (see Borrell and Duncan, 1992; Lord and Barry, 1990; Alexandratos e' al., 1994).

12. Currently only about one-third of Brazil's sugarcane output is used for sugar production. See discussion in Borell and Duncan (1992), and Buzzanell (1993).

13. For most commodities in this study, the consumption and trade data of processed products were converted into primary product equivalent in order to establish the link between agricultural production and final consumption and trade of each commodity in both primary and processed form. Unfortunately, the complexity of the data referring to consumption and trade in textiles (e.g. the fact that cotton is used in widely differing mixes with other fibres, both natural and synthetic) has precluded a similar conversion of the data. Therefore, the only valid statement for final consumption (= production) of cotton can only refer to world level totals, as follows: 1980-90: 2.5 per annum p.a., projected 1988/90-2010: 2.6 per annum p.a.

14. The quantifications and policy discussion concerning the prospects for the cereals and livestock sectors draw partly on work of outside institutes specializing in policy analysis and long-term agricultural projections for the developed countries. Senior researchers in these institutes cooperated by extending their analyses and medium term (10-year) projections to year 2010 (Frohberg, 1993; Johnson, S., 1993; Meyers, 1993).

15. Their production of 835 million tonnes for the three-year average 1988/90 (the base year of the study) was abnormally low due to the 1988 North American drought.

16. If either the per caput consumption levels to be maintained or the population growth rates are not equal in all countries, their maintenance could be compatible with a world output growth rate below that of world population (see Chapter 2, Table 2.1).

17. This is picked up by the conventional method of aggregating the diverse products to create a volume index of total consumption, production, etc. In this method, 1 tonne of wheat is given a weight of 1,1 tonne of milled rice a weight of 2,1 tonne of coffee 8,1 tonne of beef 13 and so on (weights derived from the 1979/81 farm prices, see Rao, 1993). The thus obtained index of total volumes is appropriate for some uses but not for others. In particular, it may not be appropriate for analysing the relationship between the growth of agriculture and the building up of pressures on the environment. This is because any hypothesized relationship between these two variables would be based on the incorrect premise that, for example, production of an additional tonne of rice generates pressures which are twice as high as those caused by an additional tonne of wheat and only one-fourth those of an additional tonne of coffee. It is obvious that for environmental analysis we would need to aggregate the different products using weights more closely representing their environmental impact. This is no simple task given the wide diversity of production conditions and technologies for any one commodity. This notwithstanding, the development of environmental impact weights for aggregating the different commodities, produced with diverse methods and in different farming systems, into a volume index of agricultural output should rank high in the work for creating data appropriate for environmental analyses, in this case for linking agricultural growth to the generation of environmental pressures.

18. Rule for countries with under 2700 calories in year 2010: calories in 2025 = calories in 2010 + 100, subject to a minimum of 2700.

19. Estimated from the following cross-section regression with country data 1988/90 (t values in parentheses):

InP= - 12.75+ 1.62 ln C, R2=0.64, N=126 countries (- 14.9) (14.9)

P=agricultural products used per 1000 calories (index, with world average= 1);
C=calories per caput.

20. For example, per caput meat consumption increased from 23 kg to 72 kg in Greece and from 24 kg to 88 kg in Spain. The corresponding figures of cereals are from 280 kg to 470 kg in Greece and from 307 kg to 540 kg in Spain.

21. Criteria for singling out these countries: increase in per caput calories between 1961/ 63 and 1988/90 of at least 20 percent and per caput calories 1988/90 over 2500.

22. The estimated equation is as follows (t values in parentheses):

InP= - 2.19+ 0.566 InC, R2=0.97, N=30 years (- 14) (28.4)

With P and C as defined earlier, but here measured as the simple averages of the 24 countries in the sample for each year.

23. A conceptually similar approach is used by Bongaarts (1994) to speculate on future output required for a world population of 10 billion by the year 2050. For this purpose he uses as a yardstick the gross calories (i.e. calories embodied in the total domestic use of agricultural products per caput) which range from 4000 for the developing countries to 10 000 for the developed ones and a world average of 6000. This corresponds, roughly, to a method of aggregating agricultural products using calorie content, rather than prices, as weights.

24. The highest growth rate registered in any possible historical 15-year period in East Asia the developing region which grew the fastest in the past, was 4.3 percent p.a. for ;975 90 or 1976 91. But then this achievement was an integral part of, and mutually reinforcing with, fast overall economic growth. By contrast, the highest 15-year growth rate recorded in sub-Saharan Africa was 2.4 percent p.a., 1977-92.

25. Assuming the income elasticity of demand for food and agricultural products is a generous 0.5, the required growth rate of per caput income would be 4.6 percent and that of total economic growth 7.2 percent.

26. The developed countries have been traditionally net importers of agricultural products, fairly large ones in the past, much smaller ones in more recent years. This process has meant that their production was able to grow faster than their domestic demand. For the reasons discussed elsewhere in this study, this process is projected to continue and would turn the developed countries into net agricultural exporters. For beyond the year 2010, their net exports to the developing countries would need to continue to grow even if each developing region's production were to grow at the same rate as that of its domestic demand.

27. A recent paper by UNCTAD (1994a) suggests a five-fold increase of world GDP in 50 years if per caput incomes of the developing countries were to grow at 3.0 percent p.a. Naturally, this 3.0 percent p.a. growth may or may not be compatible with poverty elimination. What matters is the extent to which growth takes place in the countries with high concentrations of poverty. The most recent World Bank (1994a) assessment suggests a growth rate of 3.4 percent for per caput incomes of the developing countries as a whole but only 0.9 percent p.a. for those of sub-Saharan Africa for 1994-2003. This type of growth pattern will leave the world with the increased environmental stresses generated by economic growth and still plenty of poverty.

28. There is great uncertainty about this because more favourable production conditions would be created in the northern latitude areas from increases in mean temperatures and everywhere from the CO2 fertilization and water use efficiency effects.

29. Rosenzweig and Parry's analysis probably overestimates the negative climate change effects on agriculture. For example, they assume a very modest CO2 fertilization effect of 10 percent (the stimulus to plant growth at increased levels of atmospheric CO2), while recent research suggests persistent positive effects of 1525 percent under field conditions. The CO2 anti-transpiration effect (increased water use efficiency by plants of up to 40 percent) is not accounted for at all, although this may have significant positive effects in semi-arid areas.

Annex: Cereals production and net trade, data and projections by commodity (million tonnes)

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