The world may not be able to feed itself by 2050 if it doesn't increase food productivity, according to a report released Wednesday.
The report, from the Global Harvest Initiative, states that with a world population expected to be at least 9 billion people in 2050, the demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel will likely outpace food production if the current rate of output remains the same.
"Countries need to prioritize agriculture and the growing of food in more sustainable methods," Zeigler argued. "If we don't start now, we'll have a problem sooner, even by 2030."
Zeigler explained that GHI has done reports on global food productivity over the last five years, but this is the first time the analysis has found food output a major concern.
Doing nothing, Zeigler said, would force hardships on the world's smaller and poorer farmers, who would likely suffer rising food costs as food supplies fail to meet demands.
It could also damage the environment, she said, by reducing water levels as that resource becomes scarcer from overpopulation and its increased use in agriculture. And sitting still could add to climate change, she said.
"We're also going to see more levels of methane emission from cattle if we don't learn how to produce more using less or the same resources," Zeigler said.