Current agriculture production cannot produce enough food for our growing population
Accessible, affordable, healthy and sustainable protein is critical to human nutrition and economic development. Yet there is not enough arable land and water on earth to meet the needs for 10 billion people, the expected figure in 2050. Either drastic changes need to be made in our diets, i.e. eating very little meat, or we need to achieve much higher productivity. While some progress is being made on lower meat diets, the Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations predicts that world meat production will still double by 2050. We could destroy all of the remaining forests and use all the available water, and still not reach this production rate.
Algae farming is the solution to this problem. With only 2% of the land and 4% of the water currently used for protein production, we could double our meat production through algae-based animal and aquaculture feeds.
The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research created in the 1970s to help address the food crisis through advancing the green revolution in different regions around the world achieved a 2.3x improvement in productivity and saved the world from starvation. Algae offers a 40x improvement in productivity, so a similar effort to advance an algae revolution will provide the protein needed to sustain the world for the foreseeable future while restoring rather than sacrificing our environment.
The time to act is now if we are to provide universally accessible, affordable, healthy, and sustainable protein as we approach a global population of 10 billion.