Map of crops for human consumption, animal feed and biofuels

Photo credit WVC 1996-01: One of the typical Chinese greenhouses with a thick clay wall (left), heated by the sun in summer, radiating heat in winter (here in January). A TC-Dialogue Foundation (Belgium) project in Wushengyi, Inner Mongolia, P.R. China.

How much of the world’s cropland is actually used to grow food?

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This fascinating map from National Geographic shows the proportion of the world’s crops that are grown for direct human consumption (in green) versus all the crops that are grown for animal feed or biofuels (in purple):

Crops grown for food (green) versus for animal feed and fuel (purple)

map food vs fuel

Just 55 percent of the world’s crop calories are actually eaten directly by people. Another 36 percent is used for animal feed. And the remaining 9 percent goes toward biofuels and other industrial uses.

Read the full article (marked with highlights): Vox

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.