Long-term Global Agricultural Output Supply-Demand Balance and Real Farm and Food Prices
AbstractGlobal food demand is estimated from population projections of the United Nations and food supply is projected from Food and Agriculture Organization yield data to quantify the global food supply-demand balance for 2025 and 2050. The eight food categories examined account for 95 percent of global food consumption. Results indicate that the historic era of secularly falling real food prices is over. The real price of corn, for example, is not expected to fall over the next four decades at the annual rate of 1.3 percent that it fell annually from 1960 to 2006. The analysis foresees future real food prices fluctuating around a flat or rising trend. Slowed national economic growth from flat or rising real food prices may be little more than an irritant for consumers in affluent countries, but will entail severe hardship for consumers in the many countries currently troubled by poverty and hunger. Opportunities exist to expand food output by adding cropland in Brazil and irrigation in Africa, for example, but in the long term such developments will be offset by cropland removed from production by urban and industrial development, soil degradation, and the like. Although cropland can be expanded through higher real farm and food prices, higher yields rather than added cropland offer the most attractive opportunities for farm output expansion at low cost to consumers and the environment. The slowing rate of increase in crop and livestock yields corresponds with a slowing rate of increase in public and in private agricultural research and development spending. The world will not have the luxury of curtailing spending on agricultural technology and rejecting promising technologies such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) if is to keep real food costs from rising. Productive new cropland, irrigation, genetically modified varieties, and other technologies will be hard pressed indeed to match the massive historic gains from hybrid varieties, irrigation, synthetic fertilizers, and mechanization. On the demand side, subsidies to expand demand for farming resources such as biofuels will need revisiting if rising food costs are to be contained.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics in its series Working Papers with number 46009.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
World Food Supply-Demand; Food Prices; Agricultural Markets; Crop and Livestock Yields; Agricultural and Food Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; International Development; Q11; Q18;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
- Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2009-01-10 (Africa)
- NEP-AGR-2009-01-10 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-ARA-2009-01-10 (MENA - Middle East & North Africa)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Rosegrant, Mark W., 1999. "World food prospects," Food policy reports 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Fapri, 2007. "Economic Impacts of Not Extending Biofuels Subsidies," FAPRI-MU Report Series 42189, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at University of Missouri.
- Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, ed. & Rosegrant, Mark W., ed., 2001. "Overcoming water scarcity and quality constraints:," 2020 vision focus 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- William R. Cline, 2007. "Global Warming and Agriculture: Impact Estimates by Country," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 4037.
- von Braun, Joachim, 2007. "The world food situation: New driving forces and required actions," Food policy reports 18, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Paudel, Krishna P. & Timilsina, Govinda R., 2010. "Would There Be Surplus Grains for Biofuels? An Assessment of Agro-economic Factors and Biofuel Production Potential at the Global Level," Staff Papers 113125, Louisiana State University, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.