Seven billion people and there will be more
A growing global population needs to be fed
The global population clock is ticking. According to the DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung), on 31 October 2011 the seven billion mark will be reached. And that figure continues to grow. Every year, the planet gains about 83 million new citizens. While about a billion people are undernourished, rising living standards among other population groups result in changes in food consumption. Above all, the consumption of animal products is increasing significantly. Due to the high demand for corn, cereals etc. for the production of meat, demand for cereals is growing disproportionately. And this, of course, is also rising due to the growing population.
In addition to this, there is increasing demand for renewable raw materials. At the same time, agricultural production systems are being threatened by climate change, soil erosion and water shortages. This trend not only raises new challenges for plant research if it is to meet global demand for food and plant-based raw materials.
Challenges for plant cultivation
It is not just a question of meeting the challenges of structural hunger and food losses. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that by 2050 it will be necessary to boost global food production by 70 percent. This will mean an increase in demand for cereals alone of about 61 percent, which is equivalent to around 1 billion tonnes. In their view, increasing yields particularly in developing countries is the most important factor today and in future, and this can partly be achieve through the needs-based application of fertilizers, tailored to local conditions.
Here already, K+S KALI GmbH has long felt committed to developing solutions. This is also the direction pursued in the scientific activities of the Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition (IAPN), co-founded by K+S KALI GmbH, at the University of Göttingen. Existing know-how is introduced into practice by the globally active team of K+S KALI GmbH consultants, thus supporting the optimal use of fertilisers.