Modern agriculture prides itself on the fact that it “feeds the world.” That’s no easy task considering world population surpassed 7 billion people in 2012.
The problem, however, is that scientists and industry observers warn that the way we grow food today is not sustainable. We rely too heavily on fossil fuels, artificial fertilizers and put enormous pressures on land, water and soil resources.
Another huge problem is waste. In the United States, for example, the USDA estimates that more than 30 percent of all food is never consumed. It’s simply thrown in the trash!
The answer is sustainable agriculture. The good news is that switching over to eco-friendly and renewable food production may result in the creation of vast wealth in the form of millions of new jobs and technology.
That’s according to a report by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, an international think tank that explores innovative ways to create smarter business models.
In a recent report, the BSDC estimated that $2.3 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”) in new business opportunities could be created and 80 million new jobs would result from an all-out effort to radically change the way we grow food.
Better yet, all these benefits could be realized by year 2030, less than two decades from now.
Getting started would be expensive, but from great investment would come even greater profits, the BSDC says. They recommend an expenditure of about $320 billion a year.
The methods to get it done are many, from no-till cultivation methods and reducing food waste, to developing new forms of fuel to power farm equipment.
it’s more than a matter of money. however. If we don’t change the way we grow food, a planetary food crisis may result in just a few decades.