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American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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The ASABE Global Initiative

At the FEW Nexus of the Global Community

ETIGFS_thRead the conference summary paper on opportunities in the food-energy-water nexus which was developed from a special session held at the 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting in Spokane, Wash. Listen to the session.

Read the Society's white paper, which outlines the ways in which we are enhancing the sustainable production and delivery of food, energy, and water security throughout the globe. 

 

The United Nations projects that world population will grow to 9.1 billion by 2050 and that food demand will double.

In previous decades, increased food demand was addressed primarily through increased productivity, expansion of cultivated land, new scientific discoveries, and the proliferation of market incentives. In developed countries, a significant increase in productivity resulted from the development of machine systems to manage large-scale agriculture.

However, because 84% of global food production occurs on small-holder farms, it is imperative that new solutions be found to increase the productivity of small-scale agriculture. Translating and adapting technical knowledge to local applications is a significant challenge and must consider local and regional resources, both physical and human, as well as cultural acceptability. Urbanization, coupled with the increased earning power of a growing middle class, leads to diet transformation, including higher animal protein consumption.

All of these trends--in population growth, urbanization, a rising middle class, food and energy consumption--are increasing pressure on our use of natural resources. ASABE and its members are deeply invested in collaborative solutions appropriate to local and global needs. 

"Sustainability is not complicated. It's just hard." 
--Marty Matlock, Professor, University of Arkansas

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