The role of nitrogen in world food production and environmental sustainability

Eickhout, B and Bouwman, A F and Zeijts, H.Van (2006) The role of nitrogen in world food production and environmental sustainability. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 116 (1-2 ). 4-14.

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On the basis of the FAO projection 'World Agriculture: Towards 2015/2030' we direct our discussion to food production, the consequences for land use, efficiency of nitrogen (N) and losses of reactive N to the environment during 1995-2030. According the FAO, global food production can keep pace with the increase in food demand in the coming three decades. However, according the projection used here, there will be a major global increase (8%) in arable land, most of it in developing countries and with a major impact on the extent of tropical forests. Further forest clearing may occur to compensate for declining soil productivity due to land degradation. Despite improvements in the N use efficiency, total reactive N loss will grow strongly in the world's increasingly intensive agricultural systems. In the 1995-2030 period emissions of reactive N from intensive agricultural systems will continue to rise, particularly in developing countries. Therefore, the increase of N use efficiency and further improvement of agronomic management must remain high on the priority list of policy makers.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, Netherlands
Subjects: Environmental Science > Environment
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: David T
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2010 09:15
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2010 09:17
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