One of the key findings of the UNFPA report: Population growth remains concentrated in the populous countries. During 2010-2050, nine countries are expected to account for half of the world’s projected population increase: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, the United States of America, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Republic of Tanzania, China and Bangladesh, listed according to the size of their contribution to global population growth.

Apparently, the human race grows less food than it eats—already. In an article in Energy Bulletinpublished in 2006, Gwynne Dyer had raised the alert that ‘we will have to find food for the equivalent of another India and another China in the next fifty years.’ He further pointed out that ‘the world’s food stocks have shrunk by half since 1999.’

World food stock will be captive to a confluence of supply and demand factors that are here to stay. On the supply side, these include the early effects of global warming, which has decreased crop yields in some crucial places, and a shift away from farming for human consumption toward crops for biofuels and cattle feed. Demand for grain is increasing with the world population, and more is diverted to feed cattle as the population of upwardly mobile meat-eaters grows. A more complicated issue is the use of crops to make biofuels, which are often heavily subsidized. A major factor in rising corn prices globally is that many farmers in the United States are now selling their corn to make subsidized ethanol.


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