Marianela Fader from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and colleagues, calculated the growing capacity of every country in the world, and compared it with food requirements, both now and projected forward to 2050. Using current data on population, and food and water consumption in each nation, they were able to assess what proportion of its food a country could produce.
“Today, 66 countries are not able to be self-sufficient due to water and/or land constraints,” said Fader. This equates to 16% of the world’s population depending on food imported from other countries.
A number of developed countries, including the UK, the Netherlands and Japan, are already unable to meet the food requirements of their populations.
Food security is going to be a big issue over the coming decades. The study indicates that improving agricultural productivity can play a key role in maintaining food security. Meanwhile, a change in diet, such as towards more seasonal and vegetarian food, could also have a significant impact.