By E -C Oerke

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If w e also take into account the loss in converting plant material to animal products, in terms of vegetable dietary energy per capita energy intake is not 3,400 kcal/day (it is 2,200 kcal in developing countries), but 10,000 kcal, or 4 times the 2,500 kcal produced per capita in typical developing countries. 4, can bear the losses incurred in converting vegetable foods to animal products for consumption. Would it be possible to feed a world population of 10 to 12 thousand million? This question is often posed and there have been a number of attempts to answer it.

The F A O / W H O figure for the energy requirement of a man who weighs 65 kg and is moderately physically active is 3,000 kcal/day. The corresponding figure for a woman weighing 55 kg is 2,200 kcal ( F A O 1973). These figures are regarded as the normal requirement for people between 20 and 39 years old. To calculate the figure for a specific country, appropriate adjustments must be made for age, sex, height, climate, physical activity and individual and social differences. To do this, it is necessary to know the population-specific distribution of these statistics.

Energy consumption over the life-span of the present generation is probably equal to the energy consumption of all the previous generations put together. Calculation based solely on an additional average increase in the consumption of energy and raw materials by the people in the developing countries clearly illustrates the demands to be met in the future. The concentration of the human species as a consumer of resources into an extremely short period of the Earth's history has many as yet unrecognized implications for the entire ecological system.

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