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Wheat is poured into a truck in the village of General Belgrano, 160 km (100 miles) west of Buenos Aires, December 18, 2012.
Wheat is poured into a truck in the village of General Belgrano, 160 km (100 miles) west of Buenos Aires, December 18, 2012.
(Enrique Marcarian/Reuters)

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Is the world’s food-supply cupboard bare?

Some countries go to extremes to ensure their food security. When Daewoo Logistics, a South Korean company, sought to rent a vast tract of land to grow food in Madagascar in 2008, the move was so controversial that it contributed to the fall of that nation’s government. But is the issue of food security (and scarcity) exaggerated? A counterintuitive study this week argued that the amount of land needed to grow crops worldwide is at its peak and will fall by one-tenth in the next 50 years. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, by contrast, believes the world might need 16 per cent more productive land.