NEW TECHNOLOGY NEEDED TO MEET SPIRALLING FUTURE FOOD DEMAND
The world’s growing population will require a 30-70 per cent increase in food production over the next three decades. At the same time, the huge quantities of food needed must be produced in such a way that protects the environment and is resistant to climate change, which requires an overhaul of the way we produce food. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, have recently released an overview of solutions that include a number of new technologies that can collectively address this global food production challenge.
“Unfortunately, if we are to meet the growing demand for food in the years ahead, optimising our current methods of production will be insufficient. They just won’t do. A radical change is needed,” said Svend Christensen, a professor and the Head of Department at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. “We have identified 75 new technologies which, combined, can transform the entire food chain – from production and processing, to consumption and waste management – to meet the demands of the future for significantly greater food production, that protects the environment and while being resilient to climate change.”
Working together with researchers from the CSIRO and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, the group has identified a number of new and upcoming technologies. Some of the more well-known technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, genetic engineering, micro-algae production and vertical farming. Others include nitrogen-fixating cereals that do not require artificial fertilisers, biodegradable polymers and the breeding of insects for animal feed and foodstuffs.