WASHINGTON—The United States, Denmark, Norway and France rank this highest in food secure countries in the world thanks to a combination of ample food supplies, high incomes, low spending on food relative to other outlays, and significant investment in agricultural research and development (R&D), according to a new Global Food Security Index released July 11. In terms of food quality and safety, France and Israel ranked higher than the United States.
Commissioned by Du Pont, the Global Food Security Index assessed 105 countries from every region in the world and ranked them according to a indices-based system developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that examined core issues of affordability, availability and quality.
Statistics revealed the least secure nations were found mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique.
Global food security is a top concern of many governments as illustrated by the recent G8 and G20 summits. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, announced at the Camp David G8 Summit in May, highlights the shared commitment among G8 and African leaders, private business and non-governmental organizations to achieve global food security. However, the need remained for a tool that drives precision and accountability of these efforts which led to the collaboration between DuPont and the EIU.
"We've always known that what gets measured, gets done," DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman said. “As we talked to governments, NGOs and farmer organizations around the world, we've come to realize that while we share a common goal of food security, we do not share a common language. To truly address the root cause of hunger, we must have a common path forward to tackle such pressing issues as food affordability, availability, nutritional quality and safety. Literally billions are being invested to address food security, but until today, we had no comprehensive, global way to measure food security and the impact of investments and collaborations at the local level."
Statistics also revealed that rich countries average more than 1,500 calories per person per day more than in poor economies; landlocked countries are not necessarily more food insecure than those with access to the sea; and governments can directly improve food security by providing access to financing for farmers, a strong food-safety net and better information about nutrition and diet diversification.
Kullman hopes the Global Food Security Index will be used to promote collaboration, make better informed decisions and stimulate action necessary to feed a growing population.
“To ensure that efforts are laser-focused to deliver real solutions, we needed a tool to inform decision making and facilitate a common language," she said.