s the world’s population increases from 6.9 million people today to 9.1 billion by the year 2050, demands on agricultural production will increase. With both land and water resources being depleted on an ongoing basis, the need to increase our food supplies is a real challenge that can be met only through more productive and sustainable agriculture. [expander_maker more=”More Details” less=”Less Details”] Food insecurity is directly connected to the earth’s land and water resources.
Land distribution: “The global land area is 13.2 billion hectares. Of this, 12 percent (1.6 billion ha) is currently in use for cultivation of agricultural crops, 28 percent (3.7 billion ha) is under forest, and 35 percent (4.6 billion ha) comprises grasslands and woodland ecosystems” (The State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO 2011).
Water resources: The world’s total water supply is about 332.5 million cubic miles of water; 97% is saline (96.5% oceans, 0.07% saline lakes & 0.93% saline groundwater) while only the remaining 2.5% is freshwater. Over 68% out of the 2.5% freshwater is locked up in ice and glaciers while 30.1% is in the ground. The balance is the fresh surface-water sources, such as rivers and lakes, which constitute only about 1/150th of one percent of total water. Yet, rivers and lakes are the sources of most of the water people use every day.