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Food security and poverty reduction

ACIAR research is helping to feed the planet.
Women in Timor Leste with sacks of cassava

ACIAR looks to a world where poverty is reduced and hunger is abolished.

Food is a basic human right—but millions of people around the world are starving.  Every day hunger kills 21,000 people.  Someone dies of hunger every four seconds.  Most of them are children.

The problem is poverty.  Even now we have enough food to feed everyone in the world, but many people don’t have enough money to buy food, or enough land to grow it.

Nearly a billion people—a seventh of the world’s population—are poor and malnourished.  Because they are malnourished, they work less, they earn less, and they become poorer and hungrier.  When they do have money, they spend much of their income on food, leaving them vulnerable to high prices. 

The world population is expected to reach 10 billion by the year 2056.  As populations grow and consumption rises, global demand for food will double.  To feed the world in 2050, we need to produce 70% more food worldwide—but climate change will make this difficult.

We must ensure global food security: to make sure that all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Food security will help the poorest countries pull themselves out of poverty, and grow the food their populations need.  Agricultural or economic growth that benefits the poor will reduce food insecurity.   

To overcome poverty, ACIAR helps poor communities to increase their incomes, create jobs, produce more and healthier food, and become self-reliant.  A key part of Australia’s development assistance program since 1982, ACIAR is a world leader in generating and applying knowledge to help developing countries meet challenges.

ACIAR can improve food security in developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, where most of the world’s hungry people live.  ACIAR projects are helping farmers in these countries to become productive, sustainable and resilient.  ACIAR research helps farmers to increase their yield, use fertilizer more efficiently, irrigate their crops more productively, and reduce food waste.

ACIAR encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers and communities around the world.  The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that bring choice and change to those who need it most.

By sharing its expertise in agricultural research, ACIAR can help to create a stable and prosperous planet where everyone is well fed.