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Grain Production Actually on the Up… But so is Consumption.

Now I know the subject of grain production in 2012 has generally been approached with sighs and groans but we here at IMD HQ have received a release from the WorldWatch Organisation that has made for very interesting reading.

Despite climactic problems in pretty much every farming region across the world this year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has suggested that the Global grain production is expected to reach a record high of 2.4 billion tons in 2012.

This comes as stark contrast to the early indications which had seen fears of a low quality grain harvest grow. In fact according to the report this is an increase of 1% from 2011 levels and that’s not all. The production of grain for animal feed is growing the fastest- a 2.1% increase from 2011.

According to the International Grains Council 571 million tons were used last year for human consumption, with India consuming a grand 89 million tons.

However it is no secret that fierce drought in the Great Plains of USA have severely altered estimates on Maize production this year where it is most productive (in 2011 it was expected to reach a record 345million tonnes). This has led to a huge deficit expected for 2012/13 – 13% to be precise – and FAO have warned that with increased production also comes increased consumption.

“The relationship between food security, grain production, and climate change is especially important in 2012,” said Danielle Nierenberg, a Worldwatch senior researcher and Nourishing the Planet project director. “The recent drought affecting the United States and the rest of the world show the need to reduce price volatility, move away from fossil fuel-based agriculture, and recognize the importance of women farmers to increase resilience to climate change.”

If you would like to learn more about the Nourishing the Planet Project please click on the link above, you can also visit the blog at blogs.worldwatch.org/nourishingtheplanet.