What is the amount of farmland, in acres, that is required to feed one adult person?

Basically, I would like to know how much farmland is required in order to supply enough food for one adult human being. I'm specifically concerned with the minimum amount of land that a country needs to allocate to farming in order to feed its population. For example, how much farmland would Japan or Germany need in order to feed their populations (respectively 127.4m and 82.4m)? I know that both are importers of food, given that they have a high population density and not enough land to meet all their agricultural needs on their own. But how much, theoretically, would they require if they were to meet their food demands? Thank you in advance.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Farmland usage greatly depends on the type of food being produced. Growing grains might require less farmland to produce enough to feed one person (for one day or for one year) than needing farmland to raise livestock or grow fruits and vegetables. Because of the different amounts of farmland needed to produce certain crops or livestock, you might look at either simplifying the problem -- either looking at a person's diet, and equating that to only one food source that is fairly universal (like rice) or looking at another unit of measurement that can be studied across different food sources, like water -- it takes water to grow crops for food, and it takes water to grow feed for food animals. The amount of farmland needed to feed a person greatly depends on diet -- meat production uses a lot more land than vegetation productions.

    Check out the first link, and it helps to answer some of your questions with some actual numbers.

    The second link mentions that "At least 1.2 acres per person is required in order to maintain current American dietary standards."

    The third link states "Agriculture is the world's biggest user of water -- it takes at least 2,000 liters to produce enough food for one person for one day. That translates into 730,000 liters annually per person."

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on how intensively you farm the land and how well you eat. I think there are whole families in Bangladesh that subsist on one acre of farm land, but I seem to recall hearing that the average American eats the production from several acres of farmland, plus 10 or 20 more acres of grazing land.

  • 1 decade ago

    4000 square feet could yield all the food and fertility needed to feed one person, and probably more if you’re smart about stacking

    4000 square feet is about 0.092 an acre.

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