By Esin Mete
Ms Esin Mete is the President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the CEO of Toros-Agri.
While the climate talks in Warsaw continue to sideline the world’s one billion farmers from the policy discussions, another UN process – the post-2015 development agenda – offers another opportunity for the agricultural sector to contribute to the future sustainable development challenges ahead of us. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being discussed in this process as the next iteration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are set to expire at the end of 2015, and a New York UN meeting next week (25-27 Nov) will signify the next step in their formulation.
A new infographic by Farming First takes a new creative approach to looking at the post-2015 agenda by fast-forwarding to the year 2030 (when the SDGs are expected to expire) in order to ask the question, “Are we taking the necessary steps NOW to meet the predicted needs we will have in 2030?”
Compiling the most expert global estimates, forecasts and trends, the infographic skips forward in time, to a world in which 543 million people will still be undernourished, global food demand will have risen by 35% and arable land will have decreased by 9%. Crop yields will decrease and prices will rise while agriculture’s demand alone for water will outstrip sustainable, replenishable supply.
Perhaps the most striking trend emerging from this collection of data is just how quickly life will change for those in the developing world. Consumption and wealth is predicted to accelerate fast, particularly in India and China, leading to increased demand and changing diets. Meanwhile, population in sub-Saharan Africa will rise significantly, leading to increased need for food imports and comparably high remaining levels of poverty and hunger.
By highlighting these 2030 projections, the infographic encourages decision-makers to focus on the end goals that the post-2015 agenda should be designed to address and how agriculture, can play an important role to help achieve them.
If we are alarmed by what we are likely to see in 2030, what actions will we need to take today to ensure our future outlook remains promising?
Take a look at the world we could be facing, share these key statistics and join us in asking policy makers to keep this future picture in mind when shaping the Sustainable Development Goals and striving towards the goal of Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.
Ms Esin Mete is the President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the CEO of Toros-Agri. She has led the effort to produce zinc-enhanced NPK fertilizers in her home country of Turkey, thus pioneering micronutrient fertilization as an effective means of addressing food security and malnutrition. A vocal advocate, Ms. Mete strongly believes in the role of extension services and initiated agronomic training programs dedicated to women farmers in Turkey. She is also chairing a Farming First-organised high-level event at the United Nations in New York on “Eradicating Hunger and Malnutrition in our Lifetime”.