Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (8): 907-918.doi: 10.11821/xb201008002

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Model-based Assessment of Food Security at a Global Scale

WU Wenbin1,2,3, TANG Huajun1,2, YANG Peng1,2, ZHOU Qingbo1,2, CHEN Zhongxin1,2, SHIBASAKI Ryosuke3   

  1. 1. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences,Beijing 100081, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Resources Remote Sensing & Digital Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China;
    3. Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
  • Received:2009-08-14 Revised:2009-12-23 Online:2010-08-20 Published:2010-08-20
  • Supported by:

    National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2010CB951504; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40930101; No.40971218; “948” Program of Ministry of Agriculture of China, No.2009-Z31; Foundation for National Non-Profit Scientific Institution, Ministry of Finance of China, No.IARRP-2010-02


This paper presents an approach for spatially explicit assessment of food security in consideration of a combination of the biophysical, social and economic factors of food security. To do that, two indicators, i.e., per capita food availability and per capita GDP, were used to cover the four dimensions of food security as many as possible. These two indicators were then linked to three models, i.e., spatial EPIC model, crop choice model and IFPSIM model. This proposed approach was applied to assess food security at a global scale over a period of approximately 20 years, starting with the year 2000. The results show that some regions such as southern Asia and most African countries will likely remain hotspots of food insecurity in the future. Both the per capita food availability and the capacity of being able to import food will decrease between 2000 and 2020. Low food production associated with poverty is thus the determining factor to starvation in these regions, and more efforts are needed to combat hunger in terms of future actions. Other regions such as China, most eastern European countries and most southern American countries where there is an increase in per capita food availability or an increase in the capacity to import food between 2000 and 2020 might be able to improve their food security situation.

Key words: food security, per capita food availability, per capita GDP, model, assessment