While everyone appreciates that food and shelter are basics for human survival, few give much thought to how their food ends up on the table for each meal. In reality, the abundance of affordable, safe food is one of the true miracles of modern life. It is worth gaining some insight into just how incredible our food supply is today, and understanding a few of the major factors that make it possible.
Doing Far More with Far Less
Just a little more than 80 years ago, one in three Canadians lived on a farm producing our nation's food supply. Today, that number is just one in 46, although one of every eight jobs in Canada are related to some form of agriculture. This represents more than $70 billion in economic transactions. Other significant facts include:
- A single Canadian farmer today produces enough food for more than 120 people, compared to just 10 in 1900.
- Households spent roughly half of all income earned on food in 1900, that number is less than 10.6 cents today.
- Farmers use a stunning 50,000 fewer gallons of irrigation water for an acre of corn today than just two decades ago.
- All told, today's farmers produce 262 percent more food than in 1950, while using 2 percent fewer inputs of seeds, fertilizer and labor.
These facts are important for a number of reasons. First, the Canadian GDP benefits from our surplus food supply, allowing investment in other essential parts of the economy. Secondly, the world benefits now from these efforts, and will even more in the future as the demand for food is projected to increase by 70 percent by 2050.
Improvements on Multiple Fronts
Agriculture benefits from a large number of advances in science, technology and agricultural research. For example, biotechnology provides more productive and pest resistant seeds, and GPS-enabled grain handling equipment increases the yields of crops with more efficient seeding and harvesting. While farmers follow centuries-old traditions in many aspects of their lives, virtually every detail of actual farming has changed and continues to change.
Farmers now use extremely efficient land management techniques, and spend large amounts of time planning their crops and how to care for them most effectively. The combination of these advances allows farmers to be more efficient in controlling weeds, diseases and pests, and generating higher yields, all while being more eco-sensitive.
Canadians can be thankful to enjoy one of the world's safest, most affordable and healthiest food supplies thanks to our prodigious farmers. Contact a company like K-Indu Ltd for more information.