Dealing with the prospect of food shortages in the next 40 years is a bigger problem than climate change, Australian academic Julian Cribb said on Monday.

An adjunct professor at University of Technology in Sydney, Mr. Cribbs outlined his concerns to the country’s Senate’s select committee on agricultural and related industries during a public hearing into food production.

Under current projections, five billion people will face water scarcity by 2050, and Australia will not have enough water to sustain food in 25 years. Adding to the mix, a quarter of arable land around the world was degraded in some form and global stock of good farm land was declining about one percent each year, Mr. Cribb said.

Yet more than half of all food produced and about three quarters of all nutrients were being wasted.

“This is the problem of our age, it is more immediate than climate change, it’s going to happen a lot faster than climate change,” he said. — Xinhua

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