Unless farmers of the world produce 70% more food, the world will face a “big problem” by 2050, according to Evan Fraser, an associate professor at the University of Guelph, who spoke at the Geography department’s fourth Csillag Seminar last Wednesday at UTM.
Fraser, who is a Canada Research Chair in global human security, discussed food security in front of approximately 30 attendees.
“The world is facing a crisis,” said Fraser. “Population growth and urbanization are pushing our demand for food up. Climate change and high energy prices are making food harder and more expensive to produce.”
The two-time University of Toronto alumnus took issue with the idea that simply increasing food production would solve food security issues in the world. He pointed to current food distribution systems as another important issue that must be addressed.
Fraser also explained what he called his “crisis of faith”, in which he questions the idea that producing food locally would solve the problem. He pointed to the decreased popularity of local food production in urbanized nations and the inefficiencies of the practice as causes for concern. However, Fraser was quick to note the many problems with globalized food production methods as well.
Instead, Fraser emphasized the need for a holistic method to solve the impending global food crisis.
“Depoliticizing the debate over global food security, understanding that there [are] different principles at work, and applying those principles in a non-polemic way, on a case-by-case basis—we need a little bit of everything,” said Fraser.
The Geography Csillag Seminar Series’ final lecture will take place on March 26. The last speaker has yet to be revealed.