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Economic Development and Food Production-Consumption Balance: A Growing Global Challenge

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According to this article, rising affluence in major developing countries (principally China and India) and increasing diversion of agricultural resources for energy production (United States and Brazil) sharply increase agricultural resource demand. Food consumption and production changes during development are analysed using resource-based cereal-equivalent measures. Diet upgrades to livestock products require fivefold increases in per capita food resource use, reflecting a consistent pattern that is only marginally affected by land base. Food consumption increases exceed production during early development, leading to imports. Consumption eventually stabilises at high incomes, but production falls short in land-scarce countries. Pork and poultry consumption increase the most; less-efficient beef and dairy production command a majority of agricultural resources.