(NAFB)--Perhaps the key to solving the world’s future food needs is managing population growth. That’s the opinion of Earth Policy Institute Founder Lester Brown. Brown says water resources from Asia to the Great Plains in the U.S. are being depleted, rising affluence in developing countries is creating demand for grain-fed meat and plant yields are approaching the limits of what photosynthesis can bear. With a growing population and growing middle class straining the food system - he says the population issue should be on the table. According to Brown - leaders need to ensure the planet’s capabilities aren’t overwhelmed. He says the world may struggle to grow and trade itself out of its hunger problem - so population management better get started. But large agricultural companies believe growth and trade will move along reliably enough to feed the world - with representatives gathered for the annual World Food Prize saying that shipping food from regions where technology is creating a surplus to areas where productivity is struggling to keep up can keep the world fed. Uneven growth in global crop production will make export flows more crucial - according to a study sponsored by the Global Harvest Initiative. This means removing barriers to regional and global trade will be imperative. The Initiative says technology, too - including genetically modified organisms - is key to meeting global food needs.