Daily chart: How to feed a planet

Why the world needs an agricultural revolution in Africa – Published on The Economist, May 28, 2012.

THIS chart is the nearest thing to a snapshot of everything you need to know about feeding the world. It comes from Cargill, a grain trading company, and shows which regions of the world have a food surplus or deficit, and how imports or exports have changed since 1965. The big changes in food production during that time came in South America (Brazil, mainly) and in Eastern Europe (Russia, mainly).   

The worry is that these increases were down to one-off factors: the farming of land that had been left alone in Brazil and the collapse of Communism in Russia. Meanwhile, on the consumption side, it seems likely that Asia and the Middle East and Africa will continue to require increased imports to satisfy growing populations. To feed itself for the next half century, the world needs an agricultural revolution in Africa … (see chart: Food surpluses and deficits).

Links:

Daily chart: China in your hand – A brief guide to why China grows so fast, on The Economist, May 25, 2012;

Graphic detail: Charts, maps and infographics on The Economist:
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