The gathering storm swirling around commodity markets augers of troubled times ahead. For agriculture, beset by the common concerns of currency fears, counterparty risk, an increased regulatory environment and once-bitten-twice-shy financial institutions, the climate is compounded by very real and entirely unique challenges. Climate itself is amongst those challenges, but with growing population, increasing competition for land use, declining-to-stable crop yields and access to water, the question of how agriculture meets those challenges is occupying more and more thought. The statistics are already eye-popping and, if true, the scale of the challenge ahead becomes more daunting. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s oft-quoted 70% increase in food production required by 2050 is a consistent headline grabber despite first appearing in 2009. In an article entitled “Barbarians at the farm gate” last year, The Economist stated “humans will need to produce [in the next 40 years] more food than they did in the previous 10,000 put together.” The magazine wasn’t alone — around the same time, UK newspaper The Independent picked up on a joint study involving Yale University, Michigan State University and Germany’s Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research that floated the alarming concept of ‘peak food’. Their research concluded that,
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Source: CTRM Center