The Global Agro-econological Zones (GAEZ) Portal developed by FAO and IIASA is a planning tool designed to help to identify areas for increased global food production while maintaining natural resources base and facing the challenge of climate change. According to FAO estimates, world food production needs to increase 60 percent by 2050 to feed a world population expected to surpass 9 billion people.
Much of the necessary growth will need to be achieved by increasing the amount of food produced on existing agricultural land, as most of the world's best farmland is already being used.
Water scarcity is another limiting factor for area expansion. And intensification of food production will occur within a changing climate, requiring adaptation and mitigation and will have to be sustainable to safeguard future use of the resources. A critical first step in sustainably intensifying food production is to close the "yield gaps" that continue to plague the farming sector in many parts of the world.
A new online data portal developed by FAO and IIASAseeks to enhance planners' and decision makers' capacity to estimate agricultural production potentials and variability under different environmental and management scenarios, including climatic conditions, management regimes, water availability and levels of inputs.