Trends in national food security and the impact of climate
Rapid population expansion, coupled with static or declining per capita agricultural production and inadequate growth in alternative economic activities, has resulted in persistent food security problems in many of the world’s poorest countries. These trends make countries with a rapidly expanding demand for food much more vulnerable to climate variability, since there are many food insecure people with very little ability to purchase food even in years with above average food production. In this chapter, the objective is to demonstrate how climate variability as measured by satellite remote sensing described in Chapter 3 is likely to affect food security at the national level. Through an exploration of the convergence of trends in agricultural capacity, population expansion and rainfall, a general assessment of the importance of climate variability to food security is presented.