2020 view: Global opportunities, challenges for meeting food needs

Food security, safety, trade, sustainability and economics: government sector and private sector collaborative efforts are critical to achieve successful outcomes!

 

Dennis Erpelding, Feedstuffs 

Jan 10, 2020

 

2020 is a new year, the beginning of a new decade, and it provides amazing opportunities yet also amazing challenges for food producers and consumers. Food security, food safety, food trade, food sustainability and food economics each come to top of mind as we begin the new year, each with associated opportunity and challenge. The question is if we are ready to seize the opportunity while also addressing the challenges in these dynamic times? Are we leveraging the private sector and government sector expertise and roles for the betterment of our global society?  

 

The global population1 is currently estimated at 7.75 billion with 4.64 billion, or 60%, living in Asia and 1.34 billion, or 17%, living in Africa. Global population growth is about 1.05% annually. The largest population growth is in areas of the world where local food production is not meeting local food needs. Further, the growth is in some of the least developed areas with the least infrastructure. Thus, the challenge – how do we all work together leveraging our natural resources and global knowledge to achieve a safe and sustainable food secure world?  

 

Food security:  Population growth is tempered with the food security reality as reported by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the “2019 - The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World”:  1) “… the number of people who suffer from hunger has slowly increased … more than 820 million people in the world were still hungry in 2018 …”. This statistic does not bode well for food security near term, especially considering population growth in regions that are the least food secure.  

 

Further, and some may say alarmingly, are the potentially devastating consequences for food security due to the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF). ASF is a viral animal disease affecting pigs with up to 100% case fatality, and is broadly spreading in Asia with reported cases in China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and Indonesia.2 Collectively these countries represent well over half the global swine production. Regionally tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of pigs have been exposed to ASF, so the true production impact is still to be fully determined. ASF spread in Africa, Eastern Europe and into Western Europe has been less so, but still impactful. Some observe that ASF is present in countries representing about 75% of global swine production. This is now having an enormous adverse impact on food security. The death loss of pigs due to ASF will result in tons of less meat available globally. Importantly, ASF is not a food safety or human health issue – the virus is not zoonotic. Unfortunately, it is transboundary and significantly impacting local food security.

 

The challenge, how do we better leverage our knowledge and capabilities to maximize food production and control disease spread?                 


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2020 view summation ...

 

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https://www.feedstuffs.com/feedstuffs-foodlink/2020-view-global-opportunities-challenges-meeting-food-needs