World Food Supply is Increasing Faster Than Population Growth

The world population is growing at about 1.1% each year and world food production is increasing at a faster rate. FAO’s latest forecast for 2019 world cereal production is pegged at an all-time high of 2.7 billion tonnes, up some 0.4 percent from the November figure and now almost 57 million tonnes (2.1 percent) above the reduced outturn in 2018. The month-on-month increase primarily reflects an upward revision of the
world coarse grains production forecast, associated with higher-than-previously predicted yields in China (Mainland), the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

In 1996, World cereral production was 1.87 billion tonnes (including rice in milled equivalent), up 23 million tonnes from the end 1996 forecast and more than 8 percent above 1995’s reduced level. The ratio of end-of-season stocks to forecast consumption in 1997/98, although nearly reaching 16 percent, would still be below the 17 to 18 percent range that FAO considers the minimum necessary to safeguard world food security, according to the report from FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS).

There was 5.8 billion people in 1996 and there was 7.7 billion people in 2019.

If we only were able to have food production keep pace with population growth from 1996 then we would have 2.48 billion tons of cereal production. There was an 8.8% increase in food levels compared to 1996.

Per capita food supply rose from about 2200 kcal/day in the early 1960s to more than 2800 kcal/day by 2009. This was a 27% increase for each person.

At the current level, the forecast for world production of coarse grains stands at nearly 1 433 million tonnes, 1.7 percent (24.5 million tonnes) higher year-on-year and marginally short of the record high level registered in 2017.