Feeding 9 billion by 2050 - how?

How might farmers feed a population of 2050 whilst using fewer natural resources?

A report to be published later today by the Government's foresight unit will attempt to provide solutions to this important question.  It will consider the challenges of making global food supply secure and affordable at the same time as reducing inputs and emissions and protecting wildlife.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, who led the report, told BBC Radio Four's Today programme that farmers, politicians, economists and scientists needed to think how to make food production more efficient and address the problems of water and energy.

"GM may be the answer for certain problems," he said, but "there is no one simple solution".

Issues of waste, and under-investment in agriculture also needed to be dealt with, he added.

Prof Beddington summed up: "We are not making any more land; we have got to look for a significant and sustainable intensification of agriculture.

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