Food production bigger issue than climate change - scientist

Rural Exchange 05/08/2018

A Fielding soil scientist says the world needs to prepare for growth in food production demand, as the global population rises.

Dr John Baker says international experts anticipate the world’s population will increase 50 percent by the year 2050.

He says arable land, used for growing crops and food production, is being reduced as buildings, roads and urban housing construction sprawls.

Soil health is also depleting, Dr Baker told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange.

“Soil can’t go to the doctor and, if it did, it would require emergency treatment from nutritionists, dieticians and surgeons.”

Dr Baker says "a lack of preparedness to feed the world" will create extreme hunger.

No-one has ever gone to war over wet feet and damp socks.

“If you do the maths, climate change slides into second place,” Dr Baker believes.

Dr Baker, a finalist in the World Food Prize, says correcting soil carbon and organic matter is the "elixir for feeding the world" and addressing climate change.

“It’s a simple as that.”

Watch the full interview with Dr John Baker above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.