The world’s population is expected to have grown by over a third from 2009 to 2050, an additional 2.3 billion people. Feeding this number of people will require food production to increase by around 70% from 2005/07 levels (source: The World Bank). Bold innovation in agriculture is going to be needed to meet this world demand for food. It includes selecting what to grow, how to grow it, learning how yields per acre of land can be raised, and reducing food that is wasted. Innovation and breakthroughs do not have a past history for banks and other traditional lenders and investors to weigh up the potential risks and returns. Sources of decentralized finance such as crowdfunding in agriculture will accelerate innovation in new foodstuffs and agritech required to feed over 9 billion people by 2050.
It’s more than the absolute number of people
Economic poverty in developing countries will fall substantially as a result of economic growth, forecast at around 2.9% per year to 2050. Rising income levels usually drive an increased demand for meat, eggs and dairy. This in turn boosts pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more cattle, pigs and chickens. If too many farmers follow this trend it would still mean shortages of subsistence crops for the poorest people. Food poverty could still exist, and deforestation would reduce biodiversity even further
Other downside factors include:
- an increasing level of foodstuff used for biomass fuels
- methane produced by livestock is a significant contributor to greenhouse gasses
- extreme weather conditions associated with climate change will ruin crops more often
On the plus side:
- hydroponic farming enables more efficient use of resources
- robotics coupled with better data collection will allow greater use of artificial intelligence
- better crop selection, reduced infestations and better-timed harvesting will improve arable efficiency and yield levels
- food waste can be significantly reduced
This article was first published by Crowdsourcing Week. It continues with a look at the roles played by different forms of crowdfunding – donations, reward-based and equity. For more about crowdfunding for agritech and sustainable food sources please head over to https://crowdsourcingweek.com/blog/the-important-role-of-crowdfunding-for-agriculture/.