The 2016 findings of the DuPont-sponsored Global Food Security Index (GFSI) were released June 9 by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The GFSI creates a framework for benchmarking a nation’s food security utilizing the core drivers of food affordability, availability, and quality and safety. Over the last few months a series of reports that offer a snapshot of food security in a selection of the 113 counties examined by the GFSI have been published. Below is a summary of those profiles. To learn more about the Index and to download the model at no charge, visit foodsecurityindex.eiu.com.
Latin America – Latin America is regarded by many in food security circles as the “next global breadbasket,” largely because of its abundant water and land resources. According to the World Bank, Latin America is home to about 28 percent of potential new arable land, and, despite droughts and water scarcity in some sub-regions, it also holds the highest share of renewable water resources. A look at some of the factors affecting food security in five Latin American countries profiled in the GFSI illustrates both the opportunities and challenges for nations in this part of the world as they seek to expand agriculture production for regional consumption as well as global export. Read more here.
Europe – For the first time since the launch of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) in 2012, food security was shown to improve overall in Europe. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) credited the score improvement to average annual economic growth of 1.4 percent across the region in the past year and favorable crop yields. Also, falling oil prices have increased food affordability due to the lower cost of food production inputs, such as petroleum-based fertilizer and reduced food transport costs. Additionally, according to the EIU, economic growth has improved the capacity of countries to absorb the stresses of urbanization. Urban absorption capacity compares a country’s real GDP growth rate with its urban population growth rate and is a proxy for a country’s ability to feed its population in the face of growing numbers of people living in urban areas. Read more here.
Sub-Saharan Africa – Over the past five years, the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) has revealed improvements in food security, but low-income, developing countries still face many obstacles. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) reports that overall global economic growth has led to improvements in the structural areas that are essential to improving people’s access to a wide range of affordable and nutritious food, including more extensive food safety-net programs, expanded food transport infrastructure and greater diet diversity. Low-income countries have not yet reached this threshold. This is especially true of most of the nations that comprise the Sub-Saharan region in the GFSI. Read more here.
Asia & Pacific– The Asia & Pacific region is one of the most diverse in the world. It contains the world’s two largest countries – China and India – which, in line with their vast populations, are the world’s biggest producers and consumers of many food varieties. Climates and soils vary greatly. Some countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand and China, are important exporters of agricultural commodities in the global marketplace. Others are major importers, with the Philippines, for example, traditionally ranking among the world’s top rice importers. While the Asia & Pacific nations ranked by the GFSI stretch from Australia to India, eight are profiled here. In 2015, these nations improved their food security rankings in various ways. Equally so, the GFSI signals areas where improvements are warranted. Read more here.