The Food Puzzle

For a transition to a food secure future, the world’s food systems will need to deliver more nutritious food from fewer natural resources. The research programme Global Food Security: Scarcity and Transition has been contributing to this challenge by providing tools and knowledge that can underpin policy and action on agricultural development and food security.

Pathways to securing food for all

The programme has been focussing on exploring the pathways that overcome trade-offs inherent in food systems. Raising agricultural productivity and resource use efficiency will not suffice. The scarcity of land and water resources has given rise to concerns about consumption patterns, waste and losses. Also, price instability originating from shocks to the food system–due to, for example, extreme weather, pests, and ad hoc policies–and unequal income growth, perpetuates food insecurity.

A set of targeted interventions will be needed to arrive at pathways for sustainable production and consumption. This requires a bottom-up perspective delivered by action and strategic research on an agenda for change that has a particular focus on Africa and Asia and the role of private sector activities in realising change.

We believe that the integration of these perspectives, a puzzle in itself, provides meaningful guidance towards decision-making on agricultural development and food security. On behalf of the contributors, I would like to express our gratitude to our numerous international research partners and other stakeholders for their collaboration in this research, and to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for providing support and core funding for the research programme.

Geopolitical dynamics of scarce resources
Global food security 2050: Exploring future scenarios
Governance towards sustainable action
Adapting agriculture and innovating supply chains in developing countries