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Factfile: Feeding the world

Could hi-tech farming eliminate hunger? Click on the bar to read the key arguments about the future of food production


Organic or intensive farming?

Improving knowledge

Sharing the food
Malnourished boy in Angola
Who should pay to get food to those who need it most?
Sharing the food

Producing enough to feed the world will be futile if the food does not reach the people who need it.

The world's farmers currently produce sufficient food to feed everyone.

And yet nearly 800 million people, or about 13% of the world's population, eat less than they need.

The main reason for this is poverty.

Explosive population growth means the number of starving people is almost guaranteed to rise. More than 80% of the world's population is expected to live in developing countries by 2025.

To avoid this, enough food must be produced.

But beyond that, an equitable way of sharing the food amongst the world's needy must be found.

It makes sense to produce food close to where it will be eaten because this reduces pollution from the transport of food and because this reduces distribution costs. In the UK, food and drinks imports account for 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions because of the vast amount of jet fuel used to transport it.

But it is even more crucial to figure out how the food should be paid for and by whom.

People in poor countries which are burdened by massive foreign debts will need help from people in rich countries. Otherwise, several million people will die.

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