By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said although there would be enough water to produce food for 10 billion people in 2050, consumption rate and the impact of climate change would still threaten food security and water supplies in many regions.

According to the report already, water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the world’s population because too much water was being used to produce food.

FAO and the World Water Council (WWC), in the joint report stated that by 2050, 60 percent more food would be needed to feed the world’s people, a situation that would warrant food production, sustainably to ensure future supplies of food. This, the report observed, was because farming remained the largest user of water.

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General of Natural Resources further stated: “In an era of accelerated changes, unparalleled in our past, our ability to provide adequate, safe and nutritious food sustainably and equitably is more relevant than ever.

“Water, as an irreplaceable element of achieving this end, is already under pressure by increasing demands from other uses, exacerbated by weak governance, inadequate capacities, and under-investment.”

The report added that excessive use and pollution of water resources in key food-producing regions were threatening the sustainability of jobs that depend on water and agriculture.

President of the WWC, Benedito Braga, stated that “Agriculture has to follow the path of sustainability and not the one of immediate profitability.”

FAO and WWC therefore called on governments to provide enabling policies as well as private and public sectors to investment in order to ensure that crops, livestock and fish were produced sustainably, including ways that also protect water resources.

This, they said was essential to reduce poverty, increase people’s incomes and ensure food security, the report said.