Feeding the world: a global challenge

The world is facing a crisis in global food security as the global population increases and diets change with economic development. Riaz Bhunnoo, Director of the Global Food Security programme, outlines the key challenges.

BOOMING: The world population is expected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030

The population is increasing, meaning more mouths to feed, and it is unlikely that this will stabilise by the end of the century. Recent estimates suggest that the population will rise to 9.7 billion by 2050.1 At the same time, diets are changing as incomes grow through economic development, which can have positive impacts in helping to lift people out of poverty and improving nutritional outcomes. However, richer people tend to both eat more food2 and more meat and dairy (Figures 1 and 2), which are resource intensive to produce and can have a higher environmental impact than other food types.3

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