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Global food security – Issues, challenges and technological solutions
2018-07, Mc Carthy, Ultan, Uysal, Ismail, Badia-Melis, Ricardo, Mercier, Samuel, O'Donnell, C. P. (Colm P.), Ktenioudaki, Anastasia
Background: Food security is both a complex and challenging issue to resolve as it cannot be characterized or limited by geography nor defined by a single grouping, i.e., demography, education, geographic location or income. Currently, approximately one billion people (16% of global population) suffer from chronic hunger in a time when there is more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Therein lies the Food security challenge to implement an ability to deal with increasing food shortages, caused by a combination of waste and an ever expanding world population. At current levels prediction state that we must increase global food production by 70% on already over exploited finite infrastructures before 2050. Scope and approach: This review paper firstly introduces the concept of Food Security with an overview of its scale and depth in the context of the global food industry. It then highlights the main sources. The readership is then introduced to the key factors affecting food security and highlights the many national and international measures adopted to tackle the problem at both policy and technological level. Key findings and conclusions: Food experts indicate that no one single solution will provide a sustainable food security solution into the future. Collective stakeholder engagement will prove essential in bringing about the policy changes and investment reforms required to achieve a solution. Achieving truly sustainable global food security will require a holistic systems-based approach, built on a combination of policy and technological reform, which will utilize existing systems combined with state-of-the-art technologies, techniques and best practices some of which are outlined herein.