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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

1 Billion Are Hungry — Can We Reduce Hunger Now And By 2050?

February 1, 2010

As we begin the new decade, despite an abundance of food, worldwide, more than 1 billion persons are living with hunger. A Special Issue of Agricultural Water Management, “Investing in Water For Food, Ecosystems and Livelihoods”, published by Elsevier, provides insight and recommendations regarding causes and potential solutions to the hunger crisis. Investments in agriculture have not kept pace with the need, particularly in developing countries. Feeding the world in 2050 will require a substantial increase in food production and notable increases in household incomes in most developing countries.

Based on work completed in 2007, as part of the Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, the articles in this special issue provide an updated perspective on the investments and interventions needed to improve both irrigated and rainfed agriculture, and to achieve global food security goals. Furthermore, the authors shed light on the challenges and opportunities we must seize without delay, if we are to feed the world successfully by 2050 and beyond.

The researchers, addressing both supply and demand issues, warn that reducing the number of hungry and undernourished people in the world will not be easy, given that most of the additional births each year occur in developing countries.

Guest Editors David Molden and Charlotte de Fraiture, both from the International Water Management Institute (www.iwmi.org), commented: “We cannot think of a more pressing question or a more challenging issue in our time. Even if we solve the climate change issue tomorrow, we will still need sufficient food and fiber to support 9 billion people in 2050. To do this, we must manage land and water resources with great care and we must make wise investments and policy choices from today onward, with little room for making mistakes.”

Gilles Jonker, Executive Publisher Agricultural Sciences at Elsevier added, “We are excited to publish this Special Issue and to support the endeavours of the Editors and Guest Editors in calling attention to the global food security situation and to the need for investments in relevant fields of agriculture.”

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