Model-based Assessment of Food Security at a Global Scale

  • 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 date: 2009-08-14

  Revised date: 2009-12-23

  Online 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.

Cite this article

WU Wenbin, TANG Huajun, YANG Peng, ZHOU Qingbo, CHEN Zhongxin, SHIBASAKI Ryosuke . Model-based Assessment of Food Security at a Global Scale[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2010 , 65(8) : 907 -918 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201008002


[1] Luo Xiaoling, Zhang Yu, Yang Huaidong. Definition of food security in China and its evaluation. Journal of Shandong Agricultural University, 2006, 30(3): 14-18.
[罗孝玲, 张妤, 杨怀东. 我国粮食安全的界定与评估. 山东农业大学学报, 2006, 30(3): 14-18.]

[2] FAO. The state of Food Insecurity in the world 2001. Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy, 2002.

[3] Schmidhuber J, Tubiello F N. Global food security under climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2007, 104: 19703-19708.

[4] FAO. Food security statistics, FAO Statistics Division. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 2006.

[5] World Bank Group. Millennium Development Goals: About the Goals, 2003.

[6] Rosegrant M W, Cline S A. Global food security: Challenges and policies. Science, 2003, 302:1917-1918.

[7] Wang Zheng, Zheng Yiping. Impacts of global change on China's food security. Geographical Research, 2001, 20(3): 282-289.
[王铮, 郑一萍. 全球变化对中国粮食安全的影响分析. 地理研究, 2001, 20(3): 282-289.]

[8] Shao Limin. Studies on China's grain comprehensive productivity and grain safety. Chinese Journal of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, 2005, 26(1): 23-26.
[邵立民. 我国粮食综合生产能力与粮食安全问题研究. 中国农 业资源与区划, 2005, 26(1): 23-26.]

[9] Ewert F, Rounsevell M D A, Reginster I et al. Future scenarios of European agricultural land use: I. Estimating changes in crop productivity. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2005, 107: 101-116.

[10] Tang Guoping, Li Xiubin, Fischer G et al. Climate change and its impacts on China's agriculture. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2000, 55(2): 129-138.
[唐国平,李秀彬, Fischer G 等. 气候变化对中国农业生产的影响. 地理学报, 2000, 55 (2): 129-138.]

[11] Parry M, Rosenzweig C, Livermore M. Climate change, global food supply and risk of hunger. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 2005, 360: 2125-2138.

[12] Xiong Wei, Ju Hui, Xu Yinlong et al. The food security of China under IPCC SRES A2 and B2 scenarios. Meteorological Monthly, 2006, 32(11): 36-41.
[熊伟, 居辉, 许吟隆等. 两种气候变化情景下中国未来的粮食供给. 气 象, 2006, 32(11): 36-41.]

[13] Battisti D S, Naylor R. Historical warnings of future food insecurity with unprecedented seasonal heat. Science, 2009, 323: 240-244.

[14] Fu Zeqiang, Cai Yunlong, Yang Youxiao et al. Research on the relationship of cultivated land change and food security in China. Journal of Natural Resources, 2001, 16(4): 313-319.
[傅泽强, 蔡运龙, 杨友孝等. 中国粮食安全与耕地资源 变化的相关分析. 自然资源学报, 2001, 16(4): 313-319.]

[15] Zeng Kejun, Chen Yi, Gao Zhonggui et al. Study on the relationship of cultivated land change and food security in Yangtze River Delta. Geography and Geo-Information Science, 2006, 22(6): 58-61.
[曾科军, 陈逸, 高中贵等. 长江三 角洲土地利用变化与粮食安全分析. 地理与地理信息科学, 2006, 22(6): 58-61.]

[16] Deng X, Huang J, Rozelle S et al. Cultivated land conversion and potential agricultural productivity in China. Land Use Policy, 2006, 23: 372-384.

[17] Chen Xiuduan, Ren Zhiyuan. Dynamic research on regional grain safety. Chinese Journal of Ecology, 2006, 25(3): 309-313.
[陈秀端, 任志远. 区域粮食安全的动态研究: 以延安市宝塔区为例. 生态学杂志, 2006, 25(3): 309-313.]

[18] Yao Huimin, Zhang Xijin, Zhu Zhenlin et al. Correlation between food security and cropland changes in Jinan City. Shandong Agricultural Sciences, 2008, (1): 87-89.
[姚慧敏, 张锡金, 朱振林等. 济南市粮食安全与耕地数量变化的相 关分析. 山东农业科学, 2008, (1): 87-89.]

[19] Li Zongyao, Yang Guishan. The relationship between the cultivated land change and food security in the area of Yangtze River watershed of Anhui Province. Resources Science, 2006, 28(6): 91-96.
[李宗尧, 杨桂山. 安徽沿江地区 耕地数量变化特征及其对粮食安全的影响. 资源科学, 2006, 28(6): 91-96.]

[20] Hu Wenhai. Characteristics of grain production in Central China and its influence on national grain safety. Geographical Research, 2008, 27(4): 885-896.
[胡文海. 我国中部地区粮食生产特征及其对我国粮食安全的影响. 地 理研究, 2008, 27(4): 885-896.]

[21] Adejuwon J O. Food crop production in Nigeria: II. Potential effects of climate change. Climate Resources, 2006, 32 (3): 229-245.

[22] Lobell D B, Burke M B, Tebaldi C et al. Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030. Science, 2008, 319: 607-610.

[23] Yang Peng, Wu Wenbin, Zhou Qingbo et al. Assimilating remotely sensed LAI into GIS-based EPIC model for yield assessment on regional scale. Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 2007, 23(9): 130-136.
[杨鹏, 吴文斌, 周清波等. 基于作物模型与叶面积指数遥感影像同化的区域单产估测研究. 农业工程学 报, 2007, 23(9): 130-136.]

[24] Wu W, Yang P, Meng C et al. An integrated model to simulating sown area changes for major crops at a global scale. Science in China: Series D, 2008, 51(3): 370-379.

[25] Wu Wenbin, Yang Peng, Tan Guoxin et al. Global-scale modeling of future changes in sown areas for major crops based on a Logit model. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2007, 62(6): 589-598.
[吴文斌, 杨鹏, 谈国新等. 基于LOGIT模型 的世界主要作物播种面积变化模拟研究. 地理学报, 2007, 62(6): 589-598.]

[26] Wu Wenbin, Yang Peng, Zhou Qingbo et al. Modeling sown area changes for major crops during 2005-2035 at global-scale. Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 2007, 23(10): 93-97.
[吴文斌, 杨鹏, 周 清波等. 2005-2035 年全球农作物播种面积变化情景模拟研究. 农业工程学报, 2007, 23(10): 93-97.]

[27] Wu W, Shibasaki R, Yang P et al. Global-scale modelling of future changes in sown areas of major crops. Ecological Modelling, 2007, 208(2/3/4): 378-390.

[28] Oga K, Yanagishima K. International food and agricultural policy simulation model. JIRCAS Working Paper No.1. Japan International Research Center of Agricultural Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 1996.

[29] Grübler A, O'Neill B, Riahi K et al. Regional, national, and spatially explicit scenarios of demographic and economic change based on SRES. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2007, 74: 980-1029.

[30] Tang Huajun, Wu Wenbin, Yang Peng et al. Recent progresses of land use and land cover change (LUCC) models. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2009, 64(4): 456-468.
[唐华俊, 吴文斌, 杨鹏等. 土地利用/土地覆被变化(LUCC)模型研究 进展. 地理学报, 2009, 64(4): 456-468.]