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By Henning Steinfield, Pierre Gerber, Tom Wassenaar, Vincent Castel, Mauricio Rosales

This record goals to evaluate the complete effect of the cattle quarter on environmental difficulties, besides capability technical and coverage methods to mitigation. The evaluate relies at the most modern and whole facts on hand, making an allowance for direct affects, besides the affects of feed crop agriculture required for farm animals construction. The farm animals area emerges as one of many best or 3 most important participants to the main critical environmental difficulties, at each scale from neighborhood to worldwide.

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Supply has kept up with growing demand: total supply of grains increased by 43 percent over the last 24 years (1980 to 2004). In real terms (constant US$), international prices for grains have halved since 1961. Expanding supply at declining prices has been achieved by area expansion and by intensification of crop production. Intensification accounts for the bulk of supply expansion over the past 25 years, and is a result of technological advances and higher input use in crop production – notably plant breeding, the application of fertilizers and mechanization.

This trend is explained by economic regression causing the abandonment of cropland, and by structural and ownership changes that occurred during transition in the 1990s. Map 1 (Annex 1) further shows the uneven geographical distribution of cropland, with vast areas remaining mostly uncropped on all continents. The main patches of highly intensive cropping are found in North America, Europe, India and East Asia. Source: FAO (2005e). 1). 4 percent over the 1961–1991 and 1991–2001 periods respectively.

Fertility decline, in conjunction with increases in life expectancy, is leading to population ageing globally. The proportion of older people (aged 60 and over) is projected to double to more than 20 percent from today’s level (UN, 2005). Age groups differ in their dietary and consumption patterns, with adults and older people typically consuming larger amounts of animal protein than children. Another important factor determining demand for food is urbanization. In 2005 (the latest year for which statistics are available) 49 percent of the world population were living in cities (FAO, 2006b).

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