Agronomy for Sustainable Development (2015) 35, 83-93

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Yongbo Liu, Xubin Pan and Junsheng Li (2015)
A 1961–2010 record of fertilizer use, pesticide application and cereal yields: a review
Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35 (1), 83-93
Abstract: Global crop production has doubled since the Green Revolution on the average, but crop yield has stagnated or even declined in some regions. In the same time, food demand has highly increased due to population growth and higher living standards. The use of pesticides and mineral fertilizers has improved crop yields but also contaminated food and the environment, thus leading to a global food crisis. Here, we reviewed the historical trends of global pesticide and fertilizer application, cereal yields, and production. Our main findings are as follows: (1) fertilizer and pesticide consumption increased for 35–40 % of the countries; (2) cereal production in 38 % of countries and yields in 47 % of countries either stagnated or decreased from 1961 to 2010; (3) countries showing stagnated or decreased yields are countries with low gross domestic product per capita, mainly situated in Africa, South America, and West Asia. Our findings thus evidence a global imbalance in food production and the usage of fertilizers and pesticides.
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