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tv   World Business  PBS  September 5, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>>reporter: this week on world business... >>why egypt will be struggling with water shortages long after the revolution is forgotten. >>the demand is rocketing. the egyptian population only two hundred years back was only two point five million and now we are hitting one hundred million >>reporter: with an aging and increasingly affluent population, demand for replacement body parts
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in the us and europe is on the rise. >>this particular sector of products which are dealing with the ageing population has very strong projections of growth. reporter: >>and with food prices spiralling, could insect meat soon be on the menu? >>if you have a big mac which costs 40 dollars and you have a bug mac which only costs 4 dollars, well i think people are going to choose the bug mac. >>reporter: the revolution in egypt has made the future for the country much more unclear, with luck democracy and freedom will take hold, but that remains far from certain. what is certain is that despite being home to the world's longest river, egypt will struggle to manage
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its water resources in the coming years, as the population swells, but the flow from the nile remains constant. egypt, with a per capita water supply each year of seven hundred and fifty cubic metres already exists in a state technically described as water poverty. and with global warming and a possible rise insea levels the situation looks set to get worse. >>quosy: the supply is fixed and demand is rocketing. the egyptian population only two hundred years back wasonly two point five million and now we are hitting one hundred million and obviously this brings down steeply the per capita share.
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>>reporter: that population is increasing at more than eight per cent a year. to feed them it's been estimated the country will need to cultivate an extra two and a half million more acres of farmland by the end of the next decade alone. all of which will need to be irrigated. >>farmers are being encouraged, albeit with limited success, to manage their water supplies better -using closed rather than open drainage pipes and drip instead of flood irrigation. another solutionis to grow less water intensive crops. >>quosy: you produce one kilogramme of wheat per one cubic metre of water but you might produce 5kg's of citrus and you might produce ten kg's of vegetables for the same cubic metre of water. >>reporter: another problem is that many of the country's farms are inefficient small holdings - sometimes as little as half or quarter of an acre. a scheme has been set up, covering an initial five
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hundred thousand acres, to persuade farmers to collaborate and better manage their water supplies. >>abu-zeid: part of it is working with the farmers and initiating farmers' associations on the field level and those associations are elected among the users and they take responsibility of maintenance, of management using less water. >>reporter: saving on agriculture is just the start; the country also needs to better handle water wastage from its growing urban population. >>abu-zeid: the amount of water used is about 5 or 6% but the losses are up to 50% >>reporter: all told, according to the president of the arab water council the plans could drastically improve efficiency. >>abu-zeid: the potential savings on the programme of water measurement which we started averages between 20 to 30 per cent.
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>>reporter: analysts argue that the introduction of water saving devices could make a significant difference. one study, in alexandria, has shown how much could be saved. >>abu-zeid: we are looking at least 20% in the current demand this could be achievable at the current assessments that we are working on. >>reporter: yet despite all its conservation efforts the country will still need to find more water. one route is desalination - which already plays a role. >>abu-zeid: if you look at the tourism sector in egypt in south sinai, the red sea resorts all of these are actually using desalination for their main water supply >>reporter: ten more desalination plants are planned and the hope is that desalinated water will eventually provide ten per cent of the country's needs. yet another problem egypt needs to address though is the demands from the other up stream countries in the nile basin
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for a greater share of the river's water - all of whom reject treaties putin place by the british - which give egypt and sudan full rights over all the nile's water. >>blair: egypt had used rather bellicose language when the upstream countries started the discussions about having a new treaty - bellicose language won't get it any where any more because these countries are both stronger, they're more efficient and with the world's media looking at the region there isn't any alternative except a negotiated treaty. >>reporter: however many of country's water experts are optimistic that a new deal can be reached and - that much more of the nile's water can be utilised. >>abu-zeid: we have been negotiating a new treaty for the past 10 years - what is encouraging is that the amountof water that falls on the nile basin is annually 1,600 billions cubic metre a year and the amount of water used right now is just five
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per cent of that. >>abu-zeid: there is a lot of water that is being lost in swamps in many areas within the nile river basin - andthis water could be developed for the benefit of all the countries sharing the nile river basin. >>reporter: there's no doubt egypt must manage its water resources better in the future. whatever the outcome ofthe arab spring, the country's survival depends upon it. >>reporter: the global population is aging; already 10 percent of the elderly need some form of surgery to replace joints like knees and hips. and in the next 25 years that figure is set to increase fivefold. >>84 years old and still working out. by 2050 the number of people in the eu
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over 65 will hit 103 million - 70% higher than it was at the millennium. more pensioners means more opportunities for healthcare providers, as demand for replacement hips, knees, spinal discs and heart valves increases. the medical technology business, already expanding at double digit rates is set to boom. >>fisher: this particular sector of products which are dealing with the ageing population has very strong projections of growth. for example it is predicted that there will be a fivefold increase in the number of knee joint replacements that are put into elderly patients by the year 2030 compared with where we are now. >>reporter: nor are these replacements limited to the very elderly. due to a combination
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of greater sporting wear and tear and our more sedentary lifestyle, the client base is actually getting younger as well as older. >>thompson: when i spoke to the consultant surgeon when i had the x-ray he said i really had no support in the hip area at all so i had to have something done straight away. he said that had i been to him 12 months previously to that he would have recommended a hip resurfacing, but he said that some of the results he has had recently and the advances in total hip replacements he has said that i could expect to get 25 to 30 years on a new hip replacement. >>reporter: that's an improvement on older replacement hip joints that could be expected to last at most 12 years, but in this broadening and expanding market even a 30 year lifespan may not be enough. >>fisher: these interventions, be they knee joints, hip joints and biological re-jointed scaffolds, are increasingly being put into younger and younger patients so it's not unusual to put in the joint into somebody who
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is 50 years old. so that patient may live for another 50 years so we need new technologies to last that long so that in itself is a new market opportunity. >>reporter: and as the first generation of artificial joints starts to wear out, research in new technology is picking up to ensure their replacements go the distance. england's biomechanical engineering department at leeds university is a global leader in replacement body parts, specialising in living heart valves, knees and spinal disc replacement, but their biggest success story has been in developing a new super artificial hip. >>fisher: well our laboratory simulation predict that this particular bearing combination of ceramic on metal will last up to 50 years and that's effectively in active patients up to 100,000,000 steps and that's 2 to 3 times longer than hip joints that have previously been available.
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>>milns: historically medical research has focused more on improving the longevity of life, but this project really steps it up a gear. it's about staying active no matter what your age so that you can always keep up with the guy next door, come on frank >>reporter: good news for pensioners who are willing to keep themselves active. 84-year-old mary thornton had a knee replacement last year but is still as sprightly as ever. >>old age creeps up and that is the time that people don't realise that they still have to be activeif they wish to carry on a little bit longer... it's no pain no gain. >>reporter: more people like mary means less pressure on already overburdened national health systems. the stagnant economies of europe also tend to have large aging populations, so any overall saving is crucial in this time
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of cutbacks. >>but it is not just about being physically active and minimising demands on state funded healthcare, a healthy and mobile elderly population can also stay economically active, which could prove vitalto countries facing up to burgeoning pension deficits. >>bonet: the economic benefits over later retirement are obvious. people keep contributing to social securityand somehow their morbidity seems to be lower while you are actively working. >>seymour-newton: mary is an example of somebody who's kept going and she is now coming up to 85 and she is still working... >>reporter: one word of warning though: >>you all need new knees dears before you're finished >>reporter: still to come on world business... >>competing for the biggest
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prize in sailing; we go match racing in sweden. >>and with global demand for meat rocketing, it might make more sense to farm insects rather than cows. >>6 legs good four legs bad... and the rest in just a moment on world business... >>reporter: by the end of this year the global population is predicted to hit 7 billion and by 2050 may be as high as 9 billion. simply feeding that many people is a challenge in itself, but coupled with rising wealth, consumption of protein is also peaking. and to meet the demand for meat, we could soon all beeating a lot more insects.
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>>food security is one of the greatest issues of the 21st century; consumption of food is rising, fish stocks are running low and grain prices are escalating dramatically. we will soon be eating more than the planet can produce. >>verbon: we need to change. if all of the world is going to eat as we eat in the western world today we will need about 3 globes to produce our food. >>boekel: we eat too much and eat too much protein. this can be reduced. and if we do that we will have more protein available for the rest of the world. this is not only a nutritional problem it's also a political problem and an economical problem. hunger is not the fact we are not having enough food it's the fact that it is not divided well and people have no access to the food. >>reporter: but some scientists in holland
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are researching an unusual alternative source of protein - insects >>it may not be to everyones taste, but soon creepy crawlies may form a major part of the meat we eat, especially if prices continue to rise. >>huis: if you have a big mac which costs 40 dollars and you have a bug mac which only costs 4 dollars, welli think people are going to choose the bug mac. >>reporter: burgers made from processed insect protein may be a long way off, but insect meat is already available in the market and prices are competitive. >>verbon: a kilo of meat in europe will cost you 15-16-20 euros, somewhere inbetween that, and insects are around 10 euros a kilo. >>reporter: to westerners it may sound extreme, but around 70% of the world's population already eat insects regularly. not because of poverty,
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but because they actually taste good! >>korthals: i mean people in phaos in africa, middle africa, congo but also in the east - asian countries, japan, china, thailand, indonesia its quite common to eat insects and its even seen as a delight as a good thing to eat. >>reporter: here at the restaurant of the future, a food science research centre, chef johan verbon is preparingsome insect dishes, like worm pasta pesto garnished with fried grasshoppers. >>verbon: elderly people and people my age, on their 40's, they don't like insects and some people will try, but children love them. especially the grasshoppers and we just dry roast them. they like it. >>reporter: novelty aside, insect meat makes sound economic and environmental sense. 10 kg of feed would produce9kg
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of locust meat but just 1 kg of beef. >>huis: insects are cold-blooded so they don't need to feed themselves to maintain their body temperature sothere are much more efficient in converting what they eat into meat. and also green house gases, livestock is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world. so those edible insects, they produce much less, almost nothing of greenhouse gases. >>reporter: animal welfare is also a powerful driver, the intensive farming of livestock turns off many consumers, but is not so much of an issue with insects. >>korthals: its scientifically proven is that they different types of receptors and sensors in feeling pain and secondly they like to be in large, they like to be crowded in places, be together very
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often so you don't have problems of intensive farming. >>reporter: despite the obvious benefits for the planet and producers, the market is of course driven by consumers. expecting people to voluntarily purchase a grasshopper quiche might be wishful thinking. processing the meat into more appetising products could be a solution. >>huis: in europe and united states people don't like it for the time being, so we have to find alternative ways. and one of the ways is processing, lets say you can grind them so you don't recognize them anymore or you can even go a step further to isolate the proteins and then add it to food products. >>boekel: if we are really focusing on the isolation of proteins, indeed it will be on processed foods // justas now milk proteins are used in many other applications than just milk. our idea is that we can also isolate proteins from insects and then apply them in all kinds of other
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products that can be useful for humans. >>reporter: but perhaps the most realistic use for insect meat is as an alternative feed for livestock, easing pressure on already overstretched grain supplies. 470 million tons of grain that could be used for human consuption are currently used around the world for fattening cattle, pushing up prices beyond the reach of the world's poorest people. >>verbon: what i think we should do, to start with for instance, is to make these insects feed for fish, for farmed fish, so we don't need to empty our seas anymore and we have the fish meat to eat. that could be a start. >>reporter: if farmers switched to insects to feed their livestock the potential for growth would be huge. but as yet, prices are uncompetitive with conventional livestock feed, which accounts for 40% of global grain production!
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>>calis: the prices have to be better. the prices are to high to feed on the chickens. so when the price is better then it will also be better for animal production. >>boekel: if we are able to rear insects that we can give to the cattle and then use those vegetables proteinsourselves we will be much more sustainable than we are in the present. >>reporter: it might be a long time before grasshopper pasta is on the menu, but we would be mad to ignore the potential of such a cheap and plentiful protein... >>reporter: yacht racing can be a fascinating sport...but all too often, as the yachts disappear over the horizon bound for distant shores, or compete on circuits miles out to sea, that fascination is confined tothe sailors themselves. but one organization hopes to change all that. the world match racing tour has been running
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since 2006 and its goal is simple. to bring match racing to the masses... >>reporter: life is full of simple sailing a 60ft yacht in the swedish archipelego.... >>but sometimes...real yachtsman like me crave even more than just fine weather, a fair wind and bantering with the cabin boy..... >>because at its heart, sailing is a competitive sport, and the purest form of match racing.... >>with 8 events ranging across bermuda, korea, malaysia and western europe...the world matching racing tour is a series that sees some of the world's best sailors chasing glory...and money...
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>>o'toole: our usp is that the sailors compete for a prize fund. we're the only professional series where they are competing for cash. >>berntsson: what you see here as former olympic sailors, america's cup sailors that are on our tour. >>bruni: boat to boat its very close. and i love it so this is the best circuit in match racing by far. >>reporter: in marstrand you can almost reach out and touch those boats ... a crucial part of the tour's strategy... >>lim: the modern model for match racing has to be held in an arena like manner. that's very important. something like this where the crowds can come in close. >>sohtell: five days before the event and nothing is here. no tents. no it. no toilets. no nothing. and in fivedays we create something that can host 150,000 people. >>reporter: at this regatta...the skippers sail in every one
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of the identical 37ft yachts. in a series of very short races.... >>jong: since each race is only about twenty minutes long, any mistake you make; that's pretty much it. >>reporter: the tour shares special event status with just the volvo ocean race and the americas cup...but following the cup's controversial decision to move to now considers itself the world's premier monohull match racing series... >>o'toole: the biggest fastest boats in the world are going to start a race together, head off very quickly into the opposite directions >>bruni: they will try to put the boat close with the rules, so that the boats are staying closer; but reality is the cameras they want them to just go fast. >>berntsson: a lot faster racing but i don't think you will see these tight situations with dial ups and boats stopping on the course >>o'toole:
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not sure if that that is the essence of match racing. >>reporter: the tour franchises each event and the responsibility for its success to local organizers...and there are bold expansion plans afoot.... >>lim: we did a bid process about eight to 12 months ago. there were 60 cities who bided to host them. >>o'toole: we will add a minimum of six new events by the start of the 2013th season >>lim: they've got to bring the events to speed immediately so that they're able to incorporate hospitality, development of the sport, having villages and so forth. so it's not simply going - 'you've got themoney, you've got the site, come on.' >>bruni: numbers are changing a 10 new events... five new events. but they are starting from a good benchmark. >>reporter: in sweden...marstrand's organisers are bullish about the event's value to the local economy... >>sohtell: we generate a revenue of about 15 million for the region so it's definitely substantial.
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>>reporter: it's been said that god takes his holidays in western sweden and it is very beautiful....but tonightalong with the menu and the music...the match cup has played its part in swelling this tiny islandsnormal population of just 200... >>reporter: so you must see more people coming onto your little island? >>edlund: yes yes, i hope . it's a kind of spilloff effect. you can say that? no? >>reporter: the match racing tour is still but a small fry of the sporting world...yet lim has a very much glass-half-full attitude toward the problem... >>lim: the facilities have already been built. the infrastructure is there. the participants are there. it's a matter of organizing them in a manner which they can host a world championship. >>reporter: and after some close quarter racing....the crew of this particular boat took another step closer to winning the 2011 world
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championship.... >>reporter: so the race was won on the first leg really, wasn't it? >>williams: yeah well we got ahead on the first leg....we still had the penalty and so we still needed to draw out enough and we did a nice job around the bottom mark, keeping our speed on the boat and gassing in. >>reporter three days later the crew would in fact win the whole event....and as i returned to a more sedate form of sailing...i couldn't help feeling a small sense of the part i'd their success..... >>reporter that's it for this week's world business. thanks for watching. we'll see you again at the same time next week.
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