Farmers make the world go around

June 11 is World Agriculture Day. So, what would a world without farmers look like?

Food production is the oldest and most essential of all human activities. The world’s first people knew they had to hunt or pick to survive and soon learnt to plant crops and pen animals to ensure good supplies of food throughout the year, eventually enabling them to build towns and travel across seas.

Human life would be different and diminished without many professions, but without its farmers it would not exist.

World Ag Day 2018

It is clear that the world’s farmers are essential, they are constantly striving to improve the way they farm to feed a growing world population with the limited resources of land, water and minerals available to them. Increasing yields, while reducing the impact on the environment is the clear goal for anyone farming today. There is plenty of evidence farmers are doing that.

Calculations by Professor Jesse Ausubel at Rockefeller University in New York shows that in 1950 it took nearly 0.5 hectares to feed each person in the world. That figure has fallen to a little over 0.2 hectares now, but greater use of technology could see the it fall to as little as 0.1 hectares by the end of the Century. Empowering farmers of all sizes with the technology and knowledge they need will be one of the 21st Century’s most important tasks. Without them the world would be a much impoverished place.