Although the share of agriculture in world GDP continues to fall this trend masks the sectors importance, in large part because we have yet to develop a viable synthetic substitute for food. Synthetics have eroded agriculture’s share of industrial output such as fibre but bio-energy has potential once again to play an important role in energy security. And the world relies on an increasing supply of food to feed the world’s growing population. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion or more a new set of challenges are emerging: food security; environmental sustainability; biodiversity; climate change; and now the growing incentive to switch from food to industrial crops for energy as oil prices move ever higher and regulations favoring renewable energy take effect. It all seems to foreshadow a jump in food prices, perhaps a permanent jump, if productivity is not improved.
For a few centuries now agriculture has managed continuous improvements in productivity to feed a seemingly ever growing population. Much of this productivity growth is due to new technology and structural transformation that has enabled fewer people to produce the food for a growing population. This transformation has also released people to work in the industrial sector and services. That’s a few of the reasons agriculture is not just important, it’s a critical sector in not just survival, but also growth and prosperity. (Click through here for Agriculture and Food Security as shown under Services above. )
- Advisory projects in 12 countries from East Asia to Central Asia and Africa;
- Value chain research projects across 20 agricultural supply chains;
- Traceability systems for livestock;
- Bioplastics and biochemicals from agricultural materials;
- Reviewed the biotechnology and biosafety Policy statement for Uganda;
- Adoption of Internet and broadband by agricultural enterprises in Australia and the US;
- Evaluation of research project performance; Regulatory policy reviews;
- Feasibility studies.