Global Food Security | 4 mins read

The Challenges of Global Food Security

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Cynthia Vespia

By Cynthia Vespia

What is Global Food Security?

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The ability to procure safe and efficient amounts of food is the embodiment of food security. Global efforts of food safety measures are being led by The United States in an effort to address the needs of those in developing countries. American aid focuses on directing food security into each and every food system that's in place to properly feed populations globally.

Global Food Security Importance
Food insecurity can disrupt agricultural efforts and economic growth which has a direct effect on communities already struggling with poverty.

Global food security plays in important part in continued growth to the agriculture sector in these areas. These efforts have proved to be highly effective at reducing poverty while providing access to nutritious foods.


Food security provides other important structures such as increased trade opportunities, healthcare and job growth.

Future of Food
The global food security challenge is to meet the growing demand for food safety. By 2050, it is estimated that 9 billion people will be in need. The demand for food will rise over 60% more than where the need is today.

The United Nations has compiled a list of Sustainable Development goals to reach by 2030. Taking precedence on that list is tasks that will end hunger, improve nutrition, and enhance food security across the globe.

To meet these lofty goals many current issues need to be addressed, including the development of skills in agricultural sectors. By introducing efficient business models more productivity is expected. Sustainable measures are also being looked at to curb food waste and excessive water use.

  • Economic growth
  • New Jobs
  • Reduced Poverty
  • Opportunities to Trade
  • Increased global stability
  • Improvements in healthcare

What are the Challenges of Global Food Security?

Food security is a priority the world over for more reasons than the obvious need to eat. Global food security becomes a challenge due to its complex nature. Delivering food internationally also has economic and social impacts.

What are some challenges?

  • Growing population- Populations are increasing with a projected increase of 1 to 2.5 billion expected in areas like Africa and Asia by the year 2050.
  • Changing tastes in diet- More of the current population is increasing their consumption of processed foods, meat and dairy which puts a strain on grain growth to meet the demand.
  • Climate change- Current rates see about 40% of the world's landmass under rising temperatures that impair farming ability.
  • Water scarcity- Water is needed to produce wheat or raise beef. Water stressed regions aren't producing enough water which could create a crisis by 2050.
  • Fewer farmers- Developed countries are seeing less occupational farmers creating a deficit of less than 2% for the growth of crops and animal breeding.
  • Other challenges include higher food prices and poor soil to till.


Complexities of ensuring food security


Addressing the growing problem of hunger in underdeveloped regions requires a shift in agricultural productivity. Smaller farms are particularly in need. Rural farming communities have higher levels of poverty which increases the numbers of the hungry.

The improvements in agriculture require a look at sustainability. Currently, 30% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the agricultural sector. Food waste and water withdrawals are also at high levels. With an estimated loss of $750 billion the attention needs to be placed on reducing waste and how energy is used for farming.

World Economic Forum Response


From 2007-2008, global food prices rose so exponentially it created civil unrest in many developing economies. Riots in Bangladesh, Brazil, and Mexico began as a response. This prompted the formation of the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) by the World Economic Forum in 2009.

The NVA is focused on achieving improvements to food security with through market-based approaches in both the public and private sectors. They also seek to improve environmental sustainability and economic opportunities. Their chief aim is to see marked, ongoing improvement well into 2050.

So far, over $10 billion has been mobilized through The World Economic Forum's partnerships. The NVA action portfolio shows that nearly $1.2 billion has already made its way into programming and food systems that have helped over 9 million farmers.

The Forum works under 5 specific initiatives. They seek to broker partnerships within civil, government and private sectors together with farmers to expand knowledge sharing.

  • Growing populations
  • Climate change
  • Lack of water
  • Less farmers
  • Higher food prices
  • Degraded soil impairing use

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Concluding Global Food Security

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  • The United States is leading efforts to create global food security. These international food systems will help developing countries obtain safe, and healthy food so that no one goes hungry.
  • Economic growth and improved health are just some of the positive impacts a secure food system creates.
  • The World Economic Forum created the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) to improve environmental sustainability and economic opportunities.
  • The United Nations has compiled a list of Sustainable Development goals to end hunger, improve nutrition, and enhance food security internationally.

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