Ending global hunger and protecting the world’s wildlife

In a new article, Max Roser of Our World in Data argues that it is possible to end global hunger and protect the world's wildlife. He suggests that by increasing agricultural productivity and consuming strategically, we can combat hunger and restore natural habitats without causing further damage to nature.

The transformation of agricultural land

Roser substantiates his conclusion with the following facts and arguments:

  • Agricultural land has grown tremendously since the Agricultural Revolution and now covers 48 million square miles, an area approximately five times the size of the United States. This has led to a significant decline in natural habitats ['habitats' refer to the natural habitats of wild plants and animals].
  • At the same time, agricultural productivity has also increased significantly, mainly by closing 'yield gaps' [these are differences between current yields and the potential yields that can be achieved if all available agricultural knowledge and technology are applied]. For example, the yield of crops such as wheat has increased from 1.84 tons to about 3.5 tons per hectare in the past 60 years.
  • Roser points out the inefficiency of land use for meat and dairy production, with 77% of agricultural land used for raising livestock. This while the products of this land only supply 40% of the global protein requirement and 18% of the calorie requirement.
  • He argues that reducing the consumption of animal products and reducing food waste can lead to less land use and help fight hunger.
  • Roser explains that food demand is expected to increase by 35% to 56% by mid-century. This increases pressure to further increase agricultural productivity without using additional land.


  1. Increasing agricultural productivity through innovation and closing yield gaps.
  2. Reducing the consumption of meat and dairy products to make land use more efficient.
  3. Combating food waste to reduce pressure on agricultural land.
  4. Increase commitment to plant-based diets to meet the protein and calorie needs of the world's population.
  5. Support policies and practices that promote sustainable land management and protect biodiversity.

By following these recommendations, Roser says we can find a balance between feeding a growing world population and preserving our natural world.