September 05, 2017

06/09/2017: The Global Miller’s Symposium – An interview with a geobotanist and a breakdown of “The Flour Sack of the Year” awards

“Wheat cultivation needs to be massively expanded” – An interview with a geobotanist 

 
Image credit: Mühlenchemie
Wheat is a staple food with a very promising future. According to FAO projections, demand will double by 2050. But as positive as this might sound for the milling industry, there is another side to the coin – production growth comes nowhere near to meeting the projected rise in demand.

In order to supply nine billion people with wheat in 30 years, the area under cultivation needs to be expanded massively, worldwide. Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Küster of the Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, called for a fundamental reorientation of agriculture at the Global Miller’s Symposium. Milling and Grain (Mühlenchemie) followed up with the renowned geobotanist.

Wheat is a cornerstone of world nutrition, and next to rice is the most important staple food. Does this mean things look good for the milling business?

Right now the situation is balanced. Supply meets demand. But this will change dramatically. World population will rise rapidly, and with it the demand for foods from wheat. If there is not a fundamental shift in agricultural policy, soon there will be a huge gap between supply and demand.

How is agriculture supposed to double the amount of wheat it produces in just three decades?
We urgently need to intensify grain growing. To do it, we will need to open up entirely new areas for cultivation, even if the soil and climate are not ideal. In addition, formerly cultivated areas will have to be taken back under the plough.

For example, in many hilly regions agriculture has greatly declined. That was a mistake and needs to be reversed. In the past, ill-conceived incentives have been offered for growing maize and feed. But maize is a major contributor to soil erosion. So there are good reasons to return to a stronger focus on wheat growing.

Who is responsible for this?
We need a cooperative effort by agricultural policymakers, farmers, economists and the food industry. A working group that develops strategies for the future. We need to think much more carefully about what products we should be growing in the future. And especially in the industrialised countries, we should intensify agriculture again.

Read the full article, HERE.

Visit the 
Mühlenchemie website, HERE.
 

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.


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