Global demand for feed grains will climb 50 per cent by 2050, buoyed by rising populations and wealth in countries like China, India and Indonesia, as people switch to more meat-based diets, agri-chemicals company Syngenta says.
The same emerging economies however, hold the key to increasing annual yields by the minimum 1.5 per cent needed to meet this rise in demand, Andrew McConville, head of corporate affairs at Syngenta Asia Pacific told Reuters.
By 2050, we see grains demand increasing by around 50 per cent from where it is now, and of that, only 25 per cent of it will be food grains (like) rice and wheat, said McConville, speaking ahead of the SE Asia U.S. Agricultural Cooperators Conference in Bali Sept. 18.
Seventy per cent of the grain demand will be driven by changes in dietary patterns people consuming more meat, he added. To grow a kilo of beef takes seven kilos of corn, to grow a kilo of pork it s five.
In southeast Asia, Indonesia s wheat grain imports are expected to rise to around six million tonnes in 2011 from 5.5 million tonnes last year, due to higher incomes, according to the Indonesian Wheat Flour Mills Association.
Behind Indonesia s rapidly rising wheat imports stands a booming economy, set to grow about 6.5 per cent this year, boosted by domestic consumption and mineral exports.
Appetites are changing, with bread-based breakfast favoured by the upper middle classes and noodles preferred by the middle classes, a shift away from the previous breakfast staple, rice.
Southeast Asia now accounts for about 12 per cent of global wheat imports, up from nine per cent in 2009.
Educating small-holder farmers and giving them access to current technologies, coupled with investments in infrastructure, are key for meeting rising demand in Asian countries, Singapore-based McConville said.
Rice yields on average in developing countries are 40 per cent lower (than developed), he said. We ve got to understand the needs of farmers much better.
Togrowakiloofbeef takessevenkilosofcorn, togrowakiloofporkit s five.