How do we feed 9 billion people in 2040?

In 2040, the planet will be home to 9 billion people, 2 billion more than in 2017.

Given this demographic growth and the explosion of the middle classes, it is estimated that by 2050 it will be necessary to increase global food production by 50%.



How can we sustainably produce all this food, when soil, water and energy resources are becoming scarcer?

→ Reduce pressure on farmland

Galloping urbanization and climate change are increasing the pressure on arable land. In addition, its quality is inexorably deteriorating. Protecting the soil is therefore imperative if we want to meet the demand for food and avoid humanitarian disasters.

Risk of a 30% decrease in the productivity of arable land by 2050

→ Use water and energy more sustainably and efficiently 

World-wide, agriculture now consumes 70% of all the water drawn. The food production and supply chain uses 30% of all the energy consumed on the planet. These proportions impact the environment and generate conflicts of use. Given that the world will be facing a 40% global water deficit by 2030 and global energy demand is expected to grow by 30% by 2040, there is an urgent need to develop more efficient use of water and energy throughout the agri-food chain.

World-wide, agriculture consumes 70% of the water drawn



→ Diversify sources of protein

With the global increase in the middle classes, the demand for animal protein will double by 2050. The development in livestock farming that this entails will have a negative impact on the environment, generating greenhouse gas emissions and calling for more water and land.

→ Improve food traceability

As a result of successive food crises in recent years, consumers are demanding greater traceability. In the coming years it will be essential to be able to offer them guarantees about the origin and quality of their food.


Veolia’s solutions and experiments for tomorrow’s world

Through its historical water, waste and energy management activities, Veolia is developing numerous initiatives and experiments that make it possible to use resources more efficiently and improve land productivity without resorting to chemical fertilizers.


  • The Group produces fertilizers - an alternative to the "all-chemical" fertilizers - from organic waste (near Arras for example) and sewage sludge (in Milwaukee in the United States in particular). In Germany, Veolia has developed the Struvia™ technology, which collects, recovers and reuses the phosphorus found in municipal wastewater and some industrial effluent.
  • To protect water resources, Veolia is developing irrigation solutions around the world based on wastewater recycling. In France, the Group has an innovative partnership with FNSEA based on "intelligent reuse". This approach makes it possible to reuse wastewater for agriculture and conserve the nutrients it contains, such as nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium, thereby limiting the use of chemical fertilizers.
  • In parallel with these solutions linked to its traditional activities, the Group is looking at new experimental fields. One concerns the production of animal protein from insect larvae. In France and Malaysia, Veolia is partnering two insect farming startups - Mutatec and Entofood - which raise fly larvae on biowaste before turning them into oil and flour to feed fish. Generalizing this type of process would considerably reduce the space required for livestock farming and for the crops used to feed animals.


ENTOFOOD : Insect Farms To Feed Aquaculture