“Feeding the world” has gotten more difficult as world population has risen, but the countries contributing the most to this population growth are also doing their part in making food for it as well. A recent joint study put forth by the United Nations-OECD says that agricultural output in the BRIC countries over the next decade will grow three times as fast as in the major developed countries. The report says a lot about changing diets production, and what and where one can expect to see their food coming from.
For one, the report predicts a changing of the guard: "Developing countries will provide the main source of growth for world agricultural production, consumption and trade.” The OECD, which is comprised largely of North American and European countries, is expected to see a decline in agricultural growth relative to developing countries: "For virtually all commodities, the projected growth in imports and exports of developing economies [over the next decade] exceeds that of the OECD area."
As developing countries attain better average incomes, the way the people of these countries eat will change as well. The report predicts that, as incomes rise, diets are expected to slowly diversify away from staple foods towards increased meats and processed foods that will favor livestock and dairy products. As the quality of food increases, so will its costs. Crop prices in next decade will rise 16 percent to 40 percent above their average.
As far as individual countries go, Brazil is expected to see the largest increase in agricultural growth, expanding agricultural production over 40 percent through 2019. China’s production is expected to increase by 26 percent, and India’s by 21 percent. Russia and the Ukraine will see increases in production by 26 percent and 29 percent, respectively. In essence, it is very likely that by the end of the decade, a majority of the world will, to some extent, be eating foodstuffs produced in developing countries. As such, it is important to be informed on the trade and production practices of these nations, which globalEDGE’s Online Course Modules can help with!