At present, 0.15 ha of arable land, i.e. 1500 m², are available per citizen in Germany.
This is less than the world average, where 2000 m² per person is currently available. At the same time, however, there are calculations that every German occupies approx. 10,000 m² of arable land abroad by importing animal feed and food and is therefore also directly responsible for rainforest deforestation. Germany must therefore increasingly cover its arable needs regionally and calorie-efficiently.
It is also a fact that as the world population increases and the soil is still being destroyed, the areas under cultivation will continue to decline. For example, only 1500 m² per person are expected for the year 2050. Due to soil fertility, agricultural methods and climate, however, the yields in many parts of the world are significantly lower than in Europe, which makes the local soils even more valuable.
Individual measures will not be enough to feed the world’s population sufficiently and to further reduce the still existing hunger. A massive reduction in the cultivation of forage crops on arable land (accompanied by a significant reduction in field-crop-basedmeat consumption) will be part of the package, as will the maintenance of intensive agriculture with high and safe hectic yields where soil and climate permit.
But: the high yields per hectare must not continue to destroy soil and biodiversity, but all goals must be achieved together. This will require effective crop protection and weed control as well as conservation tillage and yield-saving minimisation of the use of toxic agrochemicals.
It will not help to play individual factors such as biodiversity, meat consumption, pesticide use or soil protection off against each other or to hope that the problem can be handled with a single solution. Diversity will also continue to progress in concepts and areas of application, always with the aim of sustainably producing a lot of food for humans on a small area. We will need many building blocks that protect yields, soils and biodiversity as well as the social and economic lives of farmers.
What is certain, however, is that the acceptance of significantly lower yields per hectare in favour of environmental benefits will unfortunately not be an exclusive and sustainable solution to problems in a limited world. New technologies will be just as much in demand here as a greatly expanded implementation of the best possible agricultural management worldwide and especially in Europe.
With a systemic herbicide without soil movement, Crop.zone provides an important building block for the sustainable development of agriculture, also in terms of the Green Deal.
Only with high yields AND an improvement in environmental friendliness and biodiversity will it be possible to establish a resilient and supply-secure agriculture worldwide and to provide humanity with sufficient food.