The U.S. Government's Global Food Security Research Strategy

There are nearly 800 million people who suffer from chronic hunger1 and two billion who suffer from micronutrient deficiency in the world today2. A projected 702 million people still live in extreme poverty3. Much of this poverty, hunger and malnutrition is concentrated in rural areas in developing countries, where the majority of people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. These challenges are likely to worsen in the years to come: the global population is expected to swell from 7.3 to 8.5 billion by 2030, and again to 9.7 billion by 20504, placing unprecedented pressure on food systems. Rising incomes will further increase demand for food—particularly foods, such as meat, that require more resources to produce. These changes, together with widespread environmental shifts and variability, will exert increasing pressure on the natural resources on which food production relies.

Addressing these issues lies at the heart of the U.S. Government’s investments in global food security. In a world of increasingly integrated agricultural markets, where agricultural pests and diseases easily cross borders and persistent hunger abroad can have geopolitical consequences at home, finding new and innovative ways to promote global food security does more than serve humanitarian goals; it is crucial to America’s continued security and prosperity.

The U.S. Government launched the Feed the Future initiative in the wake of the 2007/2008 global food price spikes to reduce global hunger, undernutrition and extreme poverty. Feed the Future’s results and critical contributions to the U.S.’ economy, security and leadership have garnered broad bipartisan support, culminating in the enactment of the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) of 2016.

The GFSA called for a new whole-of-government global food security strategy that the 11 Feed the Future partner agencies and departments worked together to create, along with department and agency-specific implementation plans. The resulting 2017-2021 Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) describes in detail how the U.S. intends to direct Feed the Future resources and programming to advance three strategic objectives: promoting inclusive, sustainable agriculture-led economic growth; building resilience among vulnerable populations and households; and improving nutritional outcomes, especially among women and children. To achieve these objectives, the GFSS highlighted that Feed the Future research investments should “ensure a pipeline of innovations, tools and approaches designed to improve agriculture, food security, resilience and nutrition priorities in the face of complex, dynamic challenges.”

In response, the Global Food Security Research Strategy (Research Strategy) presented here seeks to bring U.S. ingenuity to bear on the greatest challenges in achieving sustainable, global reductions of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

Date 
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 2:00pm

Last updated: June 08, 2018