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Abstract

Agriculture may never have faced as many challenges as it does at the beginning of the 21st century. Food and feed production needs to approximately double until 2025 owing to (a) population growth, with 73 million being expected to be added to the world population annually, which is an increase of about 32 per cent between 1995 and 2020 to give a total of 7.5 billion, (b) increased food calories consumed and (c) higher-quality food being demanded, particularly as regards meat. Secondly, in the developing countries urbanization is gaining momentum, bringing additional food demand. By 2020, more than half of the population in developing countries will live in urban areas. The global village is becoming a global city. Thirdly, the land area available for food and feed production cannot be increased substantially: most fertile land is in use. Finally, water will increasingly become a scarce resource.

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