By 2050, the world’s population is projected to exceed 9.6 billion, compared to 7.2 billion today.
That population – a growing share of whom will live in cities and earn a middle-class income, demanding more diverse and expensive diets – will require twice as much food.
And doubling agricultural output without further pressuring already-stressed water and land resources will largely depend on significantly improved efficiency in agriculture and food systems.
The University of Nebraska and its Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources are well-positioned to lead the way in meeting this global agricultural imperative, according to Ronnie Green, NU vice president and vice chancellor of the institute.
Five years into its “IANR to 2025” plan, the institute has made important progress toward its vision of becoming the leading public university in the world in sustainably feeding the future, Green reported to the NU Board of Regents.
“We’re living in 2015, but we need to be thinking about 2050,” Green said. “If we want to meet the food, fuel and water needs of the future, agriculture needs to innovate – today. Nebraska is a living laboratory and its public university can be the global leader in growing a healthy future for our state and the world.”
Among the recent successes at IANR highlighted by Green:
Green noted that while it enjoys impressive momentum, the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources will need to continue to evolve in order to advance food, energy, natural resources and landscape security around the world.
“The Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources is home to faculty, staff and students who are passionate about making a difference for Nebraska and the world. Our goals are bold and on target – and we’re in the right place, at the right time, with the right people on board, to achieve them,” Green said. “I think we’re at a real inflection point and I could not be more excited about where the University of Nebraska and all our partners in agriculture are headed to meet the challenges ahead in 2050.”
Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, describes the challenge the world is facing in ensuring water and food security in 2050.
Green notes that competition for limited resources and climate change are among the challenges the world must address in solving the global agricultural imperative.
Green describes the vision of the University of Nebraska’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources to be the leading public university in the world in sustainably feeding the future.
Green describes the impressive growth in the university’s agricultural programs, which has enjoyed record enrollment for four straight years, thanks to increased student interest in agriculture and natural resources, enhanced recruiting, and high-quality programs.
Green notes that in addition to growing enrollment, IANR is doing more to train the next generation of highly skilled agricultural workers. The university’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, which is building rural entrepreneurs, is the fastest-growing program within the institute.