Food security expected to improve over the next 10 years

July 5, 2017

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has assessed the food security status and outlook for 76 low- and middle-income countries that are former or current food-aid recipients for the 2017–2027 period. The report—“International Food Security Assessment, 2017–2027”—finds that the share of population that is food insecure is projected to fall from 17.7% in 2017 to 8.9% in 2027.

The researchers found that grains comprise the bulk of the diet in most of the study countries. Prices of these commodities are projected to remain low over the next decade. Incomes in nearly all the study countries are projected to rise, but lower prices for oil and key minerals slow income growth for exporters of these commodities.

Given projections for low food prices and rising incomes for most study countries, food security is expected to improve through 2027. In total for the countries studied, the number of food-insecure people is projected to fall by 42%, leaving 372 million food-insecure people in the 76 countries in 2027. The intensity of food insecurity is also projected to decline.

The gross domestic product (GDP) in developing Asian countries is projected to grow 6.3% per year—much faster than the global average of 3.8%—and the share of Asia’s population that is food insecure is projected to decline the most of all the regions studied, from 13.5% in 2017 to 4.6% in 2027. The number of food-insecure people in Asia is projected to fall 62% between 2017 and 2027. In 12 of the region’s 22 countries, less than 5% of the population is projected to be food insecure in 2027.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) food security situation is projected to improve, but more slowly than in other regions. The number of food-insecure people is projected to fall by 22% and the share of population that is food insecure to drop from 31.7% in 2017 to 19.5% in 2027. In 23 of the 39 SSA countries, 20% or less of the population is projected to be food insecure in 2027. However, six countries are projected to have more than half their population food insecure in 2027, including Eritrea, Central African Republic, and Burundi with more than 75% food insecure.

Report