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Southampton researchers help to outline world's land and water resources for food and agriculture
by Staff Writers
Southampton UK (SPX) Dec 23, 2011

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Researchers from the University of Southampton have contributed to a major international United Nation's (UN) report into the current status of the world's land and water resources for food and agriculture.

Dr Craig Hutton, Professor Mike Clark, both from the University's GeoData Institute, and demographer Dr Fiifi Amoako Johnson contributed as authors as well external editors to the recent United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation publication, 'State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture' (SOLAW).

The report notes that with the task of feeding a world population expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050, food production is projected to increase by about 70 per cent globally and nearly 100 per cent in developing countries.

This incremental demand for food, together with demand from other competing uses, will place unprecedented pressure on many agricultural production systems across the world. These 'systems at risk' are facing growing competition for land and water resources and they are often constrained by unsustainable agricultural practices.

The University of Southampton team substantially contributed to the development of spatial statistics and mapping of poverty and environmental variables, as well as providing strategic contribution to the overall message of the document.

Dr Craig Hutton, says: "The first issue of SOLAW, which complements other State of the World reports published regularly by FAO, is intended to inform public debate and policy-making at national and international levels. The University of Southampton now has a substantial international profile in food security, poverty and resource management, particularly in the context of climate change. The GeoData Institute has been working closely with the FAO for a number of years in this field across a number of international settings."

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