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Ag economist: NorCal positioned right for global trade
With the global population projected to be 9 billion people by 2050, and a mass movement from rural to urban areas across the globe, food producers in California can expect a growing demand for their products.
Vernon Crowder, the senior vice president and agricultural economist at Robobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory Group, fit the local vision into the global framework as part of his keynote speech at the Ag Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday morning.
He also told the estimated 350 people in St. Bernadette’s Hall that Northern California needs to take whatever steps are required to protect their water rights.
“Protect current legislation that already protects your rights,” he said. “Be mindful of your investment in protecting your water rights.”
Local farmers reaching out to a growing global market was a common theme throughout the Farm Show.
Crowder broke down into a very simple everyday snapshot.
As the global population becomes more urban, income is expected to rise, and with that comes the ability to purchase what Americans view as basic essentials.
“More money means more refrigerators,” said Crowder, explaining how refrigeration allows people to store more goods, which will increase the demand for those goods.
One example of that, he said, is meat.
“California quality meat can expect a demand increase by 70 percent,” Crowder said.
Crowder outlined the tension between more demand for agricultural products with a shrinking acreage of productive land.
“How are we going to meet supply, when we don’t have more land?” Crowder posed.
He emphasized a need for efficiency, increased crop yields and called for government collaboration to create global trade policy that allows for market development and production efficiency.
Technology, he said, will be critical.
Focusing on each of the prominent local crops – almonds, walnuts and rice – Crowder explained that the region’s agricultural products have growing opportunity in developing countries.
“Almonds ship well and we have a great marketing organization. Demand for almonds will remain strong,” Crowder affirmed.
He said the same is true for walnuts, and emphasize that California rice producers already have a foothold in the best global markets, the same markets that are expected to grow as their populations do.
For more on the speech and reaction to Vernon Crowder’s comments, follow this website and read the Colusa County Sun-Herald Saturday.