There's been a long debate within the Peak Oil community over whether or not the world has reached its capacity to feed the current population of 6.5 billion humans. Of late we have been adding a billion new mouths to feed every 13 years or so.
Now this article comes out.
Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point
BROOKLIN, Canada, May 17 (IPS) - The world is now eating more food than farmers grow, pushing global grain stocks to their lowest level in 30 years.
Rising population, water shortages, climate change, and the growing costs of fossil fuel-based fertilisers point to a calamitous shortfall in the world's grain supplies in the near future, according to Canada's National Farmers Union (NFU).
Thirty years ago, the oceans were teeming with fish, but today more people rely on farmers to produce their food than ever before, says Stewart Wells, NFU's president.
In five of the last six years, global population ate significantly more grains than farmers produced.
And with the world's farmers unable to increase food production, policymakers must address the "massive challenges to the ability of humanity to continue to feed its growing numbers", Wells said in a statement.
There isn't much land left on the planet that can be converted into new food-producing areas, notes Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington-based non-governmental organisation. And what is left is of generally poor quality or likely to turn into dust bowls if heavily exploited, Brown told IPS.
Unlike the Green Revolution in the 1960s, when improved strains of wheat, rice, maize and other cereals dramatically boosted global food production, there are no technological magic bullets waiting in the wings.
"Biotechnology has made little difference so far," he said.
Even if the long-promised biotech advances in drought, cold, and disease-resistance come about in the next decade, they will boost yields little more than five percent globally, Brown said.
"There's not nearly enough discussion about how people will be fed 20 years from now," he said.
Read the rest of the article here.
For more background info on our precarious food supply chain, click here.