Matti Kummu is assistant professor at Aalto University, Finland. His research focuses on global water and food issues, particularly assessing the future opportunities towards water-smart food production.
Keynote on "How to eat less water: global modelling of future food opportunities"
A growing human population and changing consumption patterns threaten global food security by increasing pressure on already scarce land and water resources. Various opportunities have been suggested to sustainably secure future food supply: diet change, food loss reduction and closing the yield gap. This far, they have been assessed separately or, if combined, on a global level only. By using global models and optimization methods, we aim to estimate the combined potential of these opportunities at country level, when only currently used water and land resources are permitted to be exploited.
We estimated that these measures would have global potential to increase in food supply by 111% and 223% at moderate and high implementation levels, respectively. Large differences were found between the potential of individual opportunities in a given country as well as total potential between the countries. These estimates strengthen the current understanding: combined potential would meet the increased global food demand by 2050 but be still insufficient for various countries in Africa and Middle East. Several potential future research opportunities are proposed to improve integration of measures.