Photo Credit: UN Photo/Kibae Park

This blog originally appeared on IFPRI.org

Photo Credit: Jon S.

Food security and food prices are driven by a complex range of interacting factors, including weather, crop production levels, trade, and conflict. For several years, IFPRI has been studying whether and how another factor influences food prices: the media.

In 2016, for the first time in modern history, the number of people living in extreme poverty fell below 10 percent and the global rate of undernutrition was expected to fall below 11 percent, according to IFPRI’s newly released 2017 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR).

According to the latest Foresight Report from the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPAN), three billion people around the world consume low-quality diets, and this nutrition crisis will likely only get worse in the coming decades. Population growth and climate change will place increasing stress on food systems, particularly in Africa and Asia. At the same time, rapidly increasing urbanization, particularly in these two regions, will affect hunger and nutrition in complex ways.

Since the 2007-2008 food price crisis, food price volatility has been front and center in the international development conversation. The period of the crisis saw a dramatic rise in the international price of grains and other important commodities, while the years immediately following the crisis saw increasing grain price fluctuations on the international market.

Global trade is a complex, politically charged issue that has important implications for the global food system.

FAO estimates that around the world, about 795 million people still suffer from hunger and more than two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies or forms of over-nourishment. Simultaneously, historical and future achievements in food security are under threat due to climate change and increasing pressures on natural resources.

Photo Credit: HarvestPlus

Micronutrient deficiencies afflict more than two billion individuals worldwide. These deficiencies occur when the intake and absorption of vitamins and minerals are too low to sustain good health and development.

Photo Credit: Tomas Munita / CIFOR

It is estimated that deforestation, forest degradation, and peat land emissions account for about 15 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. A REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agreement was reached at COP 16 in 2010; since then, REDD policies have been introduced with the goal of preserving forests and proposals have been put forward to compensate developing countries for avoided deforestation.

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