The global demand for agricultural crops is expected to roughly double by 2050, driven by increases in population, meat and dairy consumption and biofuel use. However, between 1985 and 2005, the total global crop production increased by only 28%.
Clearly, these recent gains in global crop production fall short of the expected demands, leaving us with an important question: Which crops and which geographic regions offer the best hope of meeting projected demands, and where are improvements most needed?
Adding to this concern, some authors have suggested that yields for many important crops may be stagnating in some regions around the world. In particular, there are concerns that yields may be stagnating or declining for three key crops – maize, rice and wheat – which together produce ~ 57% of the world’s agricultural calories.
A slowing, or worse, stagnation or collapse in the yield gains in these crops would have profound implications for the world food system.
Continue reading the story at Nature Communications