UC Researcher Makes Plea For Global Food Security
UC Researcher Makes Plea To Preserve The Productive
Areas For Global Food Security
March 7, 2013
In the context of increasing demands from a growing global population, a University of Canterbury (UC) researcher today called on greater efforts to be made to preserve the world’s highly productive areas for the sake of national and global food security.
UC lecturer Dr Femke Reitsma will give a public lecture on campus next Monday (March 11) about her research results of significant forecasted global loss of crop yields due to burgeoning urbanisation of productive land around the world.
``The expansion of cities is having a detrimental impact on food producing ecosystems. While urban land cover is a relatively small fraction of the total Earth surface, urban expansion is occurring in regions of prime agricultural soils, at a time when we must feed nine billion by 2050 during uncertain planetary conditions.
``There is a clear loss in the global crop yield value due to global urban expansion. The forecasted total value of crop production lost to urbanisation by 2030 is almost eight percent which is a real concern.
``Nations need to plan for food security at a range of levels, from the nation as a whole to regions to individual cities. Nations that are dependent on the global food system are being put at risk as globally agricultural land and consequent yield are under threat from urbanisation.
``National food strategies must be developed to ensure sustainable food production in the long term, and local agriculturally-productive land must be preserved to maintain long term food security,’’ Dr Reitsma said.