Sara Menker: A global food crisis may be less than a decade away
Sara Menker - Technology entrepreneur
Sara Menker is founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a tech company that marries the application of machine learning with domain expertise and enables users to understand and predict global food and agriculture markets. Full bio
around a coming global food crisis
nine billion people by 2050?
and dialogue around global food security
70 percent more food.
hit all-time highs in 2008.
that they were paying attention
is so far into the future
a lot sooner than that.
a different question.
that I learned trading
change occurs so rapidly
structural capacity to produce food.
can no longer keep up with demand
to some type of structural change.
and governments may fall.
does supply struggle
for me while I was trading
how broken the system was
to make such critical decisions.
from a career on Wall Street
like every single person in this room,
a coming global food security crisis.
of data we sit on,
we've been working on this problem
that I'm sharing what we discovered.
is actually a decade from now.
to fill this gap.
is different from how I started,
quantified using mass:
in terms of weight?
and determine tonnage on a ship
airplanes and oxcarts.
in food is nutritional value.
to the US for university.
as I did in Ethiopia, but in America,
a certain fullness to my figure.
is a very large number,
of trillions of calories.
379 billion Big Macs in 2027.
than McDonald's has ever produced.
to these numbers in the first place?
where the world was 40 years ago.
in every country in the world.
consumed in that country
in that same country.
on malnutrition or anything else.
are consumed in a single year
were net exporters of calories,
used to actually be food self-sufficient.
that's occurred in the world.
as an agricultural powerhouse.
from red to blue.
that you see on this map.
that started off so similarly
had a green revolution.
has actually been exporting calories.
over 300 trillion calories a year.
from the blue to the bright red?
on a very similar path to India
to global agricultural markets.
at the same time as China's rise,
were still somewhat balanced.
it's not just a story of China.
to overtake that of India's and China's.
the world's population.
really interesting challenges
we're hit hard with that reality.
India has been food self-sufficient.
that this will continue.
a net importer of calories.
from a population growth standpoint
can have huge implications.
to be a net importer of calories,
and economic growth.
production growth assumptions.
challenge for the world.
over the next decade of production
South America and Europe.
going to come from South America.
at the huge cost of deforestation.
at the combined demand increase
and the African continent,
the combined increase in production
China, the African continent,
a 214-trillion-calorie deficit,
we take all the extra calories
South America and Europe
to India, China and Africa.
is a vision of an impossible world.
or reducing food waste,
have been going on for some time now.
because those arguments
to change their behavior
to change their behavior
that comes from the red regions.
of how much more land it actually has
water resource availability issues.
in India and in Africa.
in terms of potential yield increases.
between its current yield
maximum yield it can achieve.
arable land remaining, but not much,
on the other hand,
upside potential in yields.
African yields in corn today,
yields were in 1940.
to figure this out,
about commercial farming alone.
banking and insurance industries.
is about taking agriculture
to one where fortunes can be made.
is not about just farmers.
the entire agricultural system.
also means confronting the fact
the burden of growth
and the introduction of commercial farms
farmers can leverage.
or commercial agriculture,
of the coexistence and success
alongside commercial agriculture.
for success in the industry --
how much money you have
and maximize probability of success
really hard to make this a reality.
to this new, bold initiative,
the 214-trillion gap that I talked about,
on a whole new path.
as the world's next dark blue region.
About the speaker:Sara Menker - Technology entrepreneur
Sara Menker is founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a tech company that marries the application of machine learning with domain expertise and enables users to understand and predict global food and agriculture markets.
Why you should listen
Sara Menker is founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, a technology company that is bridging data gaps across the global agriculture sector, empowering decision makers and creating a more informed, connected, efficient and productive global agriculture industry.
Prior to founding Gro, Menker was a vice president in Morgan Stanley's commodities group. She began her career in commodities risk management, where she covered all commodity markets, and she subsequently moved to trading, where she managed a trading portfolio. Menker is a trustee of the Mandela Institute For Development Studies (MINDS) and a trustee of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). She was named a Global Young Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.
Sara Menker | Speaker | TED.com