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Title: The Future of Food Demand: Understanding Differences in Global Economic Models

Understanding the capacity of agricultural systems to feed the world population under climate change requires a good prospective vision on the future development of food demand. This paper reviews modeling approaches from ten global economic models participating to the AgMIP project, in particular the demand function chosen and the set of parameters used. We compare food demand projections at the horizon 2050 for various regions and agricultural products under harmonized scenarios. Depending on models, we find for a business as usual scenario (SSP2) an increase in food demand of 59-98% by 2050, slightly higher than FAO projection (54%). The prospective for animal calories is particularly uncertain with a range of 61-144%, whereas FAO anticipates an increase by 76%. The projections reveal more sensitive to socio-economic assumptions than to climate change conditions or bioenergy development. When considering a higher population lower economic growth world (SSP3), consumption per capita drops by 9% for crops and 18% for livestock. Various assumptions on climate change in this exercise do not lead to world calorie losses greater than 6%. Divergences across models are however notable, due to differences in demand system, income elasticities specification, and response to price change in the baseline.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Agricultural Economics, 45(1):51-67
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
world food demand, socio-economic pathways; climate change; computable general equilibrium; partial equilibrium