Food Security: Present and Future Challenge

I have always been concerned about managing resources in a limited world; specially, those which satisfy basic human needs, such as food or water. However, even though resources are scarce, I am strongly convinced that a proper management of them could produce an equal allocation. Moreover, as a sociologist, I always enjoy linking issues with external factors like demographics, economics or politics. For these reasons, I have decided to write a post about food security, and what is expected in the near future due to an increase in the world population.

The agriculture and food industry are fundamental sectors for every society in today’s world. Nowadays, 870 million people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition; and 98% of them are living in developing countries. Nevertheless, this problem is not rooted in the lack of food, as the current food production levels could feed around 12.000 million people. In addition, about 25% of that food is thrown away after being purchased. This demonstrates that hunger is not a problem of productivity, but a problem of poverty originated in a shortage of access.

On the other hand, we are going to face new challenges in the next coming years. The world population is expected to reach 9.1 billion people by 2050. Satisfying the basic needs of those people will suppose a challenge for governments and society.

Additionally, the economy will triple the size due to the growth of developed countries.

Due to this tendency, the demand of food will increase seriously as the result of population growth and economic development. For those reasons, it is likely that prices will rise. That’s why hunger problems will probably expand in the coming years. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the demand of food will increase by 70% until 2050. The world could develop this big capacity, but some changes are needed in order to feed the whole population.

Firstly, regulation over food and agriculture need to be excluded from the World Trade Organization jurisdiction. The market is determining the unequal distribution of food around the world, because economic interests prevail over basic needs satisfaction. Planet resources are being exploded, but these resources are unequally distributed. These unsustainable patterns must be stopped.

Secondly, developed countries need to change their way of thinking and acting. It is necessary to tackle the issue of wasted food and esthetic requirements in supermarkets. Moreover, developing countries could improve their technology in the agricultural sector in order to optimize their production.

Therefore, hunger is one of the most important problems at this moment. Wide-spread hunger could be an actual scenario in the upcoming years for the above-mentioned reasons. However, we can deal with it by changing our practices.


Díaz Salazar, R. (2002) Justicia global: Las alternativas de los movimientos del Foro de Porto Alegre, Icaria Editorial, Intermón Oxfam.ISBN 8484521621

FAO (2009) How to Feed the World in 2050

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (2010) Population: One Planet, Too many People?

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (2013) Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not

OXFAM INTERNATIONAL (2011) Growing a Better Future: Food justice in a resource-constrained world

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