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Farm & Food

Farm & Food

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In the next decades the demand for high value protein is likely to double: vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat.  To meet demand we can expect an industrial agriculture: more intensive, technologically driven and on a bigger scale than ever before.  At the same time there will be small-scale organic agriculture to satisfy a growing niche-market.  Specialist know-how in both sectors will dilute and get mixed up in the new food industry: Organic meets GMO.  The food sector will be changed through open innovation, co-creation and crowd sourcing.  Genetic modification – already in use by the Incas in 16th century Peru – becomes the norm.  New plant varieties will emerge from the lab.  Waste will be dealt with in smart ways.  There will be personalized food.  And functional foods will become popular.  Despite a reduction in livestock by 65 million cows the doubling in demand will still be able to be satisfied by 2050.  If the rest of the world can learn to be as productive as Dutch farmers we will only need a quarter of the agricultural land.  Farms will become digitalized and automated: robotic drones will be in charge of the watering, fertilizing and weeding needs across many acres of land.  Manure produced by cows will be fashioned into made-to-measure fertilizer, and phosphates will be extracted from human urine: pee for food!  The combination of Food and Health will become the norm.  In ten years time everyone will be following ‘a diet’.  There will be food Apps.  The countryside takes on a new function: small farms will become romantic destinations for city dwellers to meditate and appreciate the tranquility.  Industrial agriculture will be housed near cities or on industrial estates.  There will be vertical farms for vegetables, small fruit, fish and livestock.  There is a big increase in meat substitutes, and an increasing number of people are becoming flexitarians.  There will be more calorie-poor snack foods.  There will be new preservation and packaging methods.  Currently Europeans throw away 50 percent of the food produced for the European market.  In India 40 percent of the food perishes in the time between harvest and prior to it reaching the consumer.  All this will be addressed.  We will be able to feed 24 billion people and still return agricultural land to nature.

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