The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture

Jules Pretly, William J. Sutherland, Jacqueline Ashby, Jill Auburn, David Baulcombe, Michael Bell, Jeffrey Bentley, Sam Bickersteth, Katrina Brown, Jacob Burke, Hugh Campbell, Kevin Chen, Eve Crowley, Ian Crute, Dirk Dobbelaere, Gareth Edwards-Jones, Fernando Funes-Monzote, H. Charles J. Godfray, Michel Griffon, Phrek GypmantisiriLawrence Haddad, Siosiua Halavatau, Hans Herren, Mark Holderness, Anne-Marie Izac, Monty Jones, Parviz Koohafkan, Rattan Lal, Timothy Lang, Jeffrey McNeely, Alexander Mueller, Nicholas Nisbett, Andrew Noble, Prabhu Pingali, Yvonne Pinto, Rudy Rabbinge, N. H. Ravindranath, Agnes Rola, Niels Roling, Colin Sage, William Settle, J. M. Sha, Missing Luo Shiming, Tony Simons, Pete Smith, Kenneth Strzepeck, Harry Swaine, Eugene Terry, Thomas P. Tomich, Camilla Toulmin, Eduardo Trigo, Stephen Twomlow, Jan Kees Vis, Jeremy Wilson, Sarah Pilgrim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

262 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet the expected demand for food without significant increases in prices, it has been estimated that we need to produce 70-100 per cent more food, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, concerns over energy security, regional dietary shifts and the Millennium Development target of halving world poverty and hunger by 2015. The goal for the agricultural sector is no longer simply to maximize productivity, but to optimize across a far more complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption outcomes. However, there remain significant challenges to developing national and international policies that support the wide emergence of more sustainable forms of land use and efficient agricultural production. The lack of information flow between scientists, practitioners and policy makers is known to exacerbate the difficulties, despite increased emphasis upon evidence-based policy. In this paper, we seek to improve dialogue and understanding between agricultural research and policy by identifying the 100 most important questions for global agriculture. These have been compiled using a horizon-scanning approach with leading experts and representatives of major agricultural organizations worldwide. The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Farming
  • food security
  • global agriculture
  • horizon scanning
  • policy
  • research questions
  • green-revolution
  • sustainability
  • biodiversity
  • conservation
  • management
  • science
  • UK

Cite this

Pretly, J., Sutherland, W. J., Ashby, J., Auburn, J., Baulcombe, D., Bell, M., Bentley, J., Bickersteth, S., Brown, K., Burke, J., Campbell, H., Chen, K., Crowley, E., Crute, I., Dobbelaere, D., Edwards-Jones, G., Funes-Monzote, F., Godfray, H. C. J., Griffon, M., ... Pilgrim, S. (2010). The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 8(4), 219-236. https://doi.org/10.3763/ijas.2010.0534