Report on the Agro-Ecological Zones Project. Vol. 4 - Results for Southeast Asia | Land Portal

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December 1980
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Projections reveal that to sustain the likely world population in the year 2000, an increase of 60 percent in agricultural production will be required. "Is there sufficient land to meet these needs?" becomes the overriding question. However, little precise information exists on which to base a reliable answer. Previous appraisals of the global extents of arable lands, to support present and future human populations, vary from 3 to 7 thousand million hectares. Estimates of the populations these lands can support, vary from 7.5 to 40 thousand million. These estimates however, do not take into account differences in production potential when it is calculated for a) different crops, e.g. pearl millet and white potato, with widely differing climatic and soil requirements, and b) different levels of inputs and technology, e.g. subsistence cultivation and commercial production. Such factors must be taken into account to arrive at realistic estimates of the agricultural production potential of the various lands of the world.

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