Feeding a world population of 9.1 billion people in 2050 will require raising overall food production by some 70 percent between 2005/07 and 2050. Production in the developing countries will need to almost double. This implies significant increases in the production of several key commodities. Annual cereal production, for instance, will have to grow by almost one billion tons, meat production by over 200 million tons to a total of 470 million tons in 2050, 72 percent of which in the developing countries, up from the 58 percent today. Feeding the world population adequately will also mean producing the kinds of foods that are lacking to ensure nutrition security.
Insufficient annual cereal production can be substituted by other food crops such as root and tuber crops. Root and tuber crops provide a substantial part of the world’s food supply, and are also an important source of animal feed and industrial products. Approximately 45% of root and tuber crop production is consumed as food, and the remaining 55% is used as animal feed or for industrial processing for products such as starch, distilled spirits, and a range of minor products on global basis.
From 1980 to 1992, total root and tuber crop consumption increased for developing countries while per capita consumption declined over the same period, primarily with the exceptions of potato ca. +0.9% and yam ca. +5.5%. With a few notable exceptions, per capita consumption of root and tuber crops in South America and Asia declined over between 1980 and 1992, with some notable changes. Declining per capita consumption of sweet potato in South America ca. -2.7% per annum was out-paced by the change in Asia ca. -5.2 %.
Root and tuber crops can be interesting topic to be studied from multiple aspects. This event will facilitate the global researchers to share information and to build international community related to root and tuber crops.