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Feeding a growing world sustainably

In the coming years, continued population growth, rising incomes, increasing meat and dairy consumption and expanding biofuel use will place unprecedented demands on the world's agriculture and natural resources. Can we meet society's growing food needs while reducing agriculture's environmental harm? Here, an international team of environmental and agricultural scientists uses new geospatial data and models to identify four strategies that could double food production while reducing environmental impacts. First, halt agricultural expansion. Second, close 'yield gaps' on underperforming lands. Third, increase cropping efficiency. And finally, we need to change our diets and shift crop production away from livestock feed, bioenergy crops and other non-food applications.

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