Expert papers

Technical papers from the Expert Meeting on How to Feed the World in 2050

FAO, Rome, 24-26 June 2009

These papers were commissioned by FAO to provide technical background material for the High-Level Expert Forum on "How to Feed the World in 2050" to be held at FAO, Rome, 12-13 October 2009. Please see the Expert Meeting report for expert comments on these papers as well as additional presentations made at the June 2009 Expert Meeting.*

Session 1: Global agriculture to 2050: How will the world’s food and agriculture sector develop in a dynamically changing economic and resource environment?

  • Macroeconomic environment, commodity markets: A longer term outlook (Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Israel Osorio-Rodarte, Andrew Burns and John Baffes)

  • Poverty, growth and inequality over the next 50 years. (Evan Hillebrand)

Session 2: The resource base to 2050: Will there be enough land, water and genetic potential to meet future food and biofuel demands?

  • World food and agriculture to 2030/2050. Highlights and views from mid-2009 (Nikos Alexandratos/FAO)

  • World Agriculture in a Dynamically-Changing Environment: IFPRI’s Long-term Outlook for Food and Agriculture under Additional Demand and Constraints (Siwa Msangi and Mark Rosegrant)

  • The resource outlook to 2050. By how much do land, water use and crop yields need to increase by 2050? (Jelle Bruinsma/FAO)

  • How do climate change and bioenergy alter the long-term outlook for food, agriculture and resource availability? (Günther Fischer)

Session 3: The investment challenge to 2050: How much, where to invest, what priorities and what sources?

  • Investment requirements under new demands on world agriculture: Feeding the world with bioenergy and climate change (Siwa Msangi, Simla Tokgoz, Miroslav Batka and Mark Rosegrant)

  • Capital requirements for developing countries' agriculture to 2050. (Josef Schmidhuber, Jelle Bruinsma and Gerold Boedeker)

  • Investment in Developing Countries’ Food and Agriculture: Assessing Agricultural Capital Stocks and their Impact on Productivity (Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel, Gustavo Anriquez, Hartwig de Haen and Oleg Nivyevskiy)

  • International investments in agricultural productions. (David Hallam, FAO.)

Session 4: The investment challenge and the technology challenge to 2050

  • Can technology deliver on the yield challenge to 2050? (R.A. Fischer, Derek Byerlee and G.O. Edmeades)

  • Setting meaningful investment targets in agricultural research and development: Challenges, opportunities and fiscal realities (Nienke Beintema and Howard Elliott)



Session 5: Feeding the world in 2050: The global policy challenge

  • World agricultural trade challenges to 2050 and requirements for evolving structure of world trade rules compatible with food security for developing countries (Alexander Sarris)

  • Farm support policies that minimize distortionary effects (Aziz Elbehri and Alexander Sarris)


Session 6: Africa’s special role, problems and needs: What development model for Africa?

  • Challenges and opportunities for African agriculture and food security: high food prices, climate change, population growth, and HIV and AIDS (Hans P. Binswanger-Mkhize)

  • Can the smallholder model deliver poverty reduction and food security for a rapidly growing population in Africa? (Steve Wiggins)

  • African Agriculture in 50 years: Smallholders in a Rapidly Changing World? (Paul Collier and Stefan Dercon)

*The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The path to the Summit

Three important events have prepared the ground for the Summit:

The High-Level Expert Forum on How to Feed the World in 2050 examined policy options that governments should consider adopting to ensure that the world population can be fed when it nears its peak of nearly 9.2 billion people in the middle of this century.

The Committee on World Food Security considered reforms that will enable it to play a much more effective role in the global governance of food security.

The theme of World Food Day this year is how to ensure food security in times of crisis.