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Morningstar: Crop Yields Must Increase 50% by 2050

Global crop yields need to rise by 50% by 2050, Morningstar’s ‘ESG Landscape: Food and Agriculture’ report has estimated. The report flags that the world’s population is forecast to rise by 20% to 9.7 billion people by 2050. This will likely place “arduous demands on finite arable land and natural resources”, which could be compounded by global agriculture supply chains being vulnerable to climate change, biodiversity loss, and land degradation-related disruptions. The report expects a rise in the use of fertilisers driven by Africa and the Middle East, warning that current fertiliser practices are “responsible for substantial greenhouse gas emissions and soil and water pollution”. The report additionally highlights that the value of services provided by nature is “significant” and “generally not accounted for in conventional economic models”, with a rapid loss of biodiversity “likely to accelerate changes in regulation and stakeholder expectations”. The agriculture sector is subject to human rights violations, especially child labour, that can pose a risk to agricultural commodities processors as customers demand stricter certifications. The report states that food production is responsible for more than 25% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, with Scope 1 and 2 emissions will likely be easier to tackle than the broader Scope 3 agricultural value chain emissions. 

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