The grand challenge of feeding 9 billion people

Sustainable agriculture expert Tim Reeves on the radical changes required to feed the Earth’s burgeoning population

Dr Andi Horvath

Published 21 April 2017

Episode 392

Sustainable agriculture expert Professor Tim Reeves discusses the profound changes required in agricultural practice, public policy and consumer behaviour if we are to feed the Earth’s ever-growing human population - projected to exceed 9 billion in 2050. Business-as-usual won’t pass muster any more.

“A study just being completed by CSIRO scientists, led by Zvi Hochman ... showed that since 1990 wheat yield potential in Australia has gone down by 26 per cent as a result of climate change,” says Professor Reeves.

“Agriculture already uses 70 per cent of total fresh water withdrawals and that’s an extremely huge challenge for us as we go to produce more food.”

Episode recorded: 27 March 2017

Up Close producer: Kelvin Param Audio engineer: Gavin Nebauer Banner image: Jan-Pieter Nap/Wikimedia Commons

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