Leverage points for improving global food security and the environment

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Science  18 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6194, pp. 325-328
DOI: 10.1126/science.1246067

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  1. Fig. 1 Increasing crop production from closing the yield gaps to 50% of potential yields.

    Increasing yields to 50% of the potential yield in all low-performing areas could increase annual production by 8.46 × 1014 kcal, which is enough to meet the basic caloric requirements of ~850 million people. Further, half of these potential gains (4.2 × 1014 kcal) are concentrated in only 5% of the harvested area for the 17 crops analyzed here.

  2. Fig. 2 Leverage points to reduce agriculture’s effect on climate, water quality, and water consumption.

    The majority of global environmental effects of agriculture are in a few countries, driven by a few commodities. All nutrient and irrigation values are relative to the 17 major crops in this study. Figures S1 to S3 provide maps of N2O emissions, nutrient input and excess, and water consumption, respectively. Irrigation consumption is relative only to precipitation-limited areas.

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