4285 Food Security in Emerging and Developing Economies

Sunday, February 20, 2011: 3:30 PM
209ABC (Washington Convention Center )
Shenggen Fan , International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC
Global food security is under stress. The overall number of hungry people, as reported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, stands at 925 million. According to the 2010 Global Hunger Index—a combined measure of the proportion of undernourishment, child malnutrition, and child mortality—29 developing countries exhibit “alarming” or “extremely alarming” levels of hunger. The current volatility of agricultural commodity prices, caused by natural disasters and by harmful trade policies, is fueling new concerns over food security. Forces of change, such as population growth and demographic changes, land and water constraints, climate change, and biofuel expansion, are also challenging global food security. To enhance food security in emerging and developing economies, a comprehensive policy and investment agenda is urgently needed to: (i) improve smallholder productivity and market access, (ii) ensure environmental sustainability, (iii) engage new players such as the private sector and emerging economies, (iv) promote productive social safety nets to protect the poor, and (v) reform global food and agricultural governance.