~~The Kansas City Federal Reserve puts on an Ag Symposium each year and this year's topic was regarding water resources. The keynote speaker was Kenneth Cassman and I thought I would share some of the highlights from his presentation.
•World population is expected to hit 9.3 billion by 2050. 2008 was about when urban population finally surpassed rural population. In 1950, there was almost twice as many people living in rural areas as urban. By 2050, it will reverse.
•The expected population change between now and the year 2100 will primarily occur in Africa. Based on current birth rates, that's continent population will increase by 2.5 billion people. Asia will increase by 400 million, North America will increase 180 million, Latin America less than 100 million and Europe will actually decrease by about 60 million. Africa's increase will be almost 2 billion more than the rest of the world.
•Over the next 10 years, the developing countries are likely to increase their consumption of animal products by more than 20% (poultry up to 40% more). This is due to their increasing standard of living.
•The highest consumers of meat in the world is Hong Kong at almost 350 pounds per year. Australia, New Zealand and the US are next at about 275 pounds per year. China comes in at 110 pounds and India barely hits 20 pounds.
•Climate change is expected to increase the cost of cereal grains by 25% by 2050. The impact on livestock is a modest 5% change. Fruits, vegetables, pulses, roots and tubers may increase around 10%.
•The number of people at risk of hunger should drop from about 800 million people now to less than 500 million by 2050. If there is no climate change, this number would drop to less than 400 million.
•Advanced technology continues to make irrigation more efficient. Having water dropped directly onto the root area instead of on the leaf (most of that is lost to evaporation) is one example.
•Africa still has the potential to add over 40 million acres of large scale irrigation and up to 110 million acres of small-scale irrigation based on their current water supply.
Several other presentations were made at the Ag Symposium and you can check them out on their website. See the link above.