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Scarcity of land, water pose severe challenge to mankind: FAO chief

(Xinhua)

13:47, November 29, 2011

ROME, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Deepening degradation and scarcity of land and water resources pose a severe challenge to the world's capacity to meet human demands by 2050, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jacques Diouf said on Monday.

In the last 50 years, a significant increase in food production combined with demographic pressure and unsustainable agriculture practices have spoiled the land and water systems upon which food production depended, Diouf told a press conference to present a FAO report named "State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture."

"By 2050, due to increasing population and higher levels of food consumption, the global level of food production will have to increase by 70 percent, while developing countries may need to achieve a hundred percent increase in food production," he said.

But, according to the report, many land and water systems around the globe now face a concrete risk of gradual breakdown of their productive capacity, thus challenging the capacity of providing sufficient food for the world's population which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.

"The consequences in terms of hunger and poverty are unacceptable," Diouf stressed while calling for an immediate remedial action.

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