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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Feeding the World
First broadcast March 2007

Fuel dispenser and corn

This BBC World Service series investigates the growing but often under-reported challenges facing the world's food supply.

Global Warming, soil erosion and a world population that is set to grow by a further two and half billion in the next thirty years, are just some of the pressures that could undermine the current state of relative abundance.

BBC World Affairs correspondent Mark Doyle assesses which outcome will prevail and the factors that will decide it. He discovers what policies need to be put in place now to ensure the world can feed itself in the future.

Part Three: The Future Test

In the final part of our series, Mark Doyle investigates the potential consequences of environmental pressures and rising populations on the global food supply.

He also looks at another new challenge, the advent of Biofuels.

With most of this supposedly "green" fuel coming from crops that would otherwise go towards feeding people or livestock, some experts are anticipating a major supply crunch as the oil companies start to compete for agricultural land.

By some estimates, half of the US corn harvest could be diverted towards bioethanol distilleries within the next two years, causing global prices of grains to spiral, and leaving many food-importing regions like North Africa and the Middle East suddenly struggling for their staples.

What are the long-term solutions if we are to combat the upcoming challenges?

Series Producer: Ed Butler

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