To which view of the future of agriculture do you subscribe? View number one: the growing world population and increasing prosperity will lead to a long-term uptrend in agricultural prices. View number two: on average, production will exceed demand and low prices will be the norm most of the time. You’d think that experts could analyze the situation and the trends and come to agreement. That’s not the case. A just-released report by the experts at Deutsche Bank Group subscribes to the theory that there will be a 50 per cent increase in food demand by the year 2050 with nine billion people inhabiting the earth. Meeting this demand, they say, will require huge agricultural investments. On the other side of the debate are experts such as Daryll Ray, who holds the Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy at the University of Tennessee. In a recent opinion piece in the Manitoba Cooperator, Ray says overproduction relative to demand will likely be the overriding problem for major crop markets during all, or most, of our lifetimes. Overproduction has been the norm more often than not during the past 30 years. For what it’s worth, I subscribe to the view that we’ll see more shortages and better prices more often in the years to come. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC
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