Global Agriculture: Where, What and How We Grow

This series of maps comes from National Geographic’s “A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World.” The maps detail in what ways we can be more efficient about where we grow, what we grow, and how we grow.

Where Agriculture Exists: Pasture vs. Cropland. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/
Where Agriculture Exists: Pasture vs. Cropland. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/

We can no longer afford to increase food production through agricultural expansion. Nearly all new food production in the next 25 years will have to come from existing agricultural land.

How Our Crops Are Used: Food vs. Feed and Fuel. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/
How Our Crops Are Used: Food vs. Feed and Fuel. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/

Only 55 percent of food-crop calories directly nourish people. Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised on feed supply another 4 percent. It would be easier to feed the planet if more of the crops we grew ended up in human stomachs.

Where Yields Could Improve. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/
Where Yields Could Improve. Source: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/

Improving nutrient and water supplies where yields are lowest could result in a 58 percent increase in global food production.

All maps and graphics: Virginia W. Mason and Jason Treat, NGM Staff. A World Demanding More, source: David Tilman, University of Minnesota. Agriculture’s Footprint, source: Roger LeB. Hooke, University of Maine. Maps, source: Global Landscapes Initiative, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota.

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