At this point in time, more than 820 million people in the world don’t have enough to eat. This will be exacerbated by climate change and increasing competition for land and water, further raising concerns about the future balance between food demand and supply. The results of a new study by Wageningen University and Research published in Nature Food can be used to benchmark global food security projections and inform policy analysis and public debate on the future of food.
Even though food supply has increased dramatically since the 1960s, the question of how to eradicate global hunger and feed the growing world population in years to come, remains a major challenge. Scientists typically use quantified global scenarios and projections to assess long-term future global food security under a range of socioeconomic and climate change scenarios. However, due to differences in model design and scenario assumptions, there is uncertainty about the range of future food demand and population at risk of hunger.
This study, which has been published in the journal Nature Food, focused on these two key food security indicators. Future food demand is a key driver of the required increase in food production and associated impacts on land use change, biodiversity and climate change. Population at risk of hunger ̶ is an indicator of the number of people that face chronic food insecurity.
Wageningen researcher Michiel van Dijk: “Our study aimed to determine the range of future global food demand and population at risk of hunger projections to 2050. To answer this question, we analyzed 57 studies published between 2000 and 2018. We harmonized all projections and mapped them into the several highly divergent but plausible socioeconomic futures, including sustainable, business-as-usual and divided-world scenarios.”
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