Conclusions and recommendations

E. Jane Morris, Ademola A. Adenle, Denis J. Murphy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The World Needs Agricultural Biotechnology. Global economic growth and agricultural production over the last two decades have lifted millions out of poverty and malnutrition, yet a ninth of the world's population continues to suffer from chronic undernourishment, and most of these people, about 780 million, live in developing countries (World Hunger Education Service, 2015). Looking to the future, the world is facing a ‘perfect storm’ through a combination of factors, some of which are listed below. • The most recent estimates of population growth show world population increasing from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, with more than half this growth coming from Africa, where the population is expected to double to 2.5 billion, 100 million more than was estimated 2 years ago (United Nations, 2015). • The steady increase in yield for some staple crops (especially cereals) since the early twentieth century has now plateaued as they start to reach their yield potential ceiling (Grassini et al., 2013). Although total world food production may perhaps be sufficient to meet projected demand in the years up to 2050, several developing countries and regions have a long history of near-stagnant yields and policy environments that are not very promising (Alexandros and Bruinsma, 2012). Unless this trend can be reversed, those countries will be in a situation of increasing food deficit. • Land and water resources are increasingly in demand, especially in developing countries, and are subject to overuse, leading to higher levels of environmental and biological stress. This is resulting in soil degradation, salinisation of irrigated areas and competition from uses other than for crops, which is impacting on the capacity for food production. • Climate change is exacerbating the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, while at the same time agriculture is contributing significantly to the greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions responsible for climate change. The changing climate is directly affecting crop yields in some regions due to increasing drought, heat waves or severe weather episodes such as flooding. Climatic shifts are also leading to increasing incidence of new pests and diseases that can badly affect crop performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetically Modified Organisms in Developing Countries
Subtitle of host publication Risk Analysis and Governance
EditorsAdemola A. Adenle, E. Jane Morris, Denis J. Murphy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781316585269
ISBN (Print)9781107151918
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Agricultural Biotechnology
  • GMOs
  • Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Developing Countries


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