Man-land Relationship

Scenario-based assessment of future food security

  • 1. Key Laboratory of Resources Remote Sensing &|Digital Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China|
    2. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China|
    3. Center for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan|
    4. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC 20006, USA

Received date: 2010-10-08

  Revised date: 2010-11-02

  Online published: 2011-01-13

Supported by

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


This paper presents a scenario-based assessment of global future food security. To do that, the socio-economic and climate change scenarios were defined for the future and were linked to an integrated modeling framework. The crop yields simulated by the GIS-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model and crop areas simulated by the crop choice decision model were combined to calculate the total food production and per capita food availability, which was used to represent the status of food availability and stability. The per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) simulated by IFPSIM model was used to reflect the situation of food accessibility and affordability. Based on these two indicators, the future food security status was assessed at a global scale over a period of approximately 20 years, starting from the year 2000. The results show that certain regions such as South Asia and most African countries will likely remain hotspots of food insecurity in the future as 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 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 South 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, YOU Liangzhi, ZHOU Qingbo, CHEN Zhongxin, SHIBASAKI Ryosuke . Scenario-based assessment of future food security[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2011 , 21(1) : 3 -17 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-011-0825-x