Speaking at a water policy conference in Brussels, IFA’s Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has called for a wider debate within the EU regarding the impact water scarcity is having on food security in Europe and internationally.
He said, “The stark facts are that by 2050 global water demand is projected to increase by 55%, at a time when groundwater supplies are diminishing, with an estimated 20% of the world’s aquifers currently over exploited. While Ireland is not considered to be water stressed, over 18% of Europe’s population live in countries that are water stressed.
These facts can no longer be ignored when policy measures around food security and climate change are being developed. This is particularly important given that agriculture will need to produce 60% more food globally and 100% more food in developing countries to meet increasing demand”.
Mr. Kingston again restated the Association’s call for a new approach at international level which puts food security, sustainable intensification and other issues such as water availability at the centre of future climate policy.
He concluded, “Ireland is a world leader in environmentally sustainable food production. This sustainable model provides a blueprint for future development of agri-environment policy and it must be encouraged to develop”.