Together with the ongoing population growth, the rate of agricultural is declining. Table 1.6 shows the trends over the past few decades and the prognoses for the next
Table 1.6. Agricultural production growth rates
1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1992 1993-2010
decade. There are a few explanations for this development:
• Urban areas are located mostly in parts of a country that also have the highest agricultural potential; when a city expands it often takes the best agricultural lands. The loss of agricultural production is not always (totally) restored elsewhere.
• Intensification of agricultural production and mismanagement of agricultural lands leads to land degradation and loss of agricultural lands and thus loss of agricultural production.
• The countries with the best possibilities for production growth are not the countries where demand for food is increasing most (i.e., developing countries). So, the possibilities for keeping up with the increasing demand for food are not fully used.
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