The participants of the Hohenheim event concluded, that organic agriculture was not the only solution for globally sustainable land management. Conventional agriculture had to move towards a more organic concept.
Photo: Eisenmann

01.03.2019

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At a specialist event jointly organised by the University of Hohenheim, in Stuttgart, Germany, Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Rural Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Young DLG/Team Hohenheim, experts from politics, science and the private sector discussed the impacts that sustainable agriculture could have on world food security in comparison to conventional agricultural production.

The impacts of organic vis-à-vis conventional land management were focused on by Professor Matin Qaim of the University of Göttingen/Germany at the beginning of a specialist event held at the University of Hohenheim in Southern Germany. In his introduction on the situation of world food security, Qaim pointed out that, world-wide, around 820 million people were still suffering from a lack of energy and micronutrient deficiency. Malnutrition was particularly severe in Latin America, Asia and the African continent.

Globally however, the food situation had significantly improved since 1945, Qaim stressed. Agricultural yields had played a crucial role in this development, having grown almost threefold in most regions.
The question now arose what impacts agriculture was having on the environment, Qaim put forward. Regarding the quality of groundwater and biodiversity, the intensive form of agriculture was indeed particularly harmful. However, it had to be noted in this context that higher per area unit yields could prevent a further expansion of the global area under cultivation.

Qaim refers to three scenarios to provide sufficient food for the growing world population, which is to reach a total of 9.8 billion people by 2050 according to estimates.

First, it was possible not to raise production but to restrict the consumption of animal products and food waste.

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