“Sound science” will solve crisis

The chairman of the Scottish Agricultural College has said science will be the answer when solving a future world food supply crisis.

“The world faces a food supply crisis, for the developed world the era of cheap food is over. That means tough, unpopular decisions for consumers and governments, but they must be based on sound science.”

In a series of events organised by educational charitable organisation the Crichton Conversation, Lord Lindsay identified trends which show the global population rising to nine billion in 2050, requiring a doubling of food production just to meet demand. He said the level of global food stocks is falling, leaving people doubly vulnerable to droughts, floods, pests and diseases, all driven by climate change.

There are also fears over shortages of the land, water, fertilisers and energy, which are needed while the populations of developing countries like China and India increasingly demand the same affluence that the developed world took for granted.

He added: “Food security has a cost. But it is not just about the economics. Equally important are issues like social justice, international relations and the impact on the environment.”

“There is no quick fix. Some decisions will be difficult, especially where it involves either forcing or inducing changes in behaviour or preferred choices.”

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