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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0-9

Can technology deliver on the yield challenge to 2050?

Author: R.A. Fischer, Derek Byerlee and G.O. Edmeades
Organisation: FAO Expert Meeting on How to Feed the World in 2050
Publish Date: June 2009
Country: Global
Sector: Agriculture
Method: Foresight
Theme: Food
Type: Other publication
Language: English
Tags: Cereal production, Rice, Wheat, Maize, Farm yield (FY), Attainable yield (AY), Potential yield (PY), Food prices, Productivity, Research and development

This paper focuses on the yield prospects of wheat, rice and maize since these cereals dominate human diet, and since continued yield growth is considered the major route to meeting future global demand for food, feed and fuel. We define for a region farm yield (FY), attainable yield (AY), as reached with the best technology and prudent economics), and potential yield (PY, yield with the best varieties and agronomy and no manageable biotic or abiotic stresses). FY progress is a function of progress in PY and in closing the gap between PY and FY (we express this gap as a percent of FY). Globally wheat and rice annual yield increases (as a percent of current yield) are falling and are now just below 1 percent, while that for maize is 1.6 percent. For rice and wheat, the growth of yields in absolute terms (kg/ha/year) are also falling in developing countries. Global demand modelling to 2050 predicts large real price sensitivity to yield growth rates, with significant price increases if current rates cannot be increased.
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