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  • Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Hunger, by State, 1996-98

    FANRR-2, September 30, 1999

    Although most households in the United States are food secure, during the period 1996-98 some 10 million U.S. households (9.7 percent of total) were food insecure--that is, they did not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. Included among these were 3.5 percent of households in which food insecurity was severe enough that one or more household members were hungry at least some time during the year due to inadequate resources for food. The prevalence of food insecurity and hunger varied considerably among the States. Eleven States, located in an arc along the western and southern borders of the country, and the District of Columbia, had rates of food insecurity significantly above the national average. By contrast, 20 States--most of them in the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast--had rates of food insecurity significantly below the national average. High-food-insecurity States generally had higher than average poverty rates and higher than average use of food stamps, but there were some notable exceptions.

  • Food Security Assessment GFA12

    GFA-12, February 26, 2001

    USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) projects that average per capita food consumption for 67 low-income countries will increase in the next decade. ERS also projects that the number of people failing to meet their nutritional requirements will decline from 774 million in 2000 to 694 million in 2010, providing an improved outlook for global food security. But the gains are not uniform across countries and in many food insecurity will probably intensify. Sub-Saharan Africa, as the most vulnerable region, accounts for only 24 percent of the population of these 67 countries, but it is projected to account for 63 percent of these hungry people in 2010. HIV/AIDS is expected to reduce the region's agricultural productivity, and constraints in financial resources will limit commercial imports, thus leading to declining per capita consumption.

  • Effects of Income Distribution on Food Security

    AIB-765-2, April 26, 2001

    This briefing paper examines the effects of income distribution on food security, particularly within countries that have a very uneven distribution of purchasing power. The analysis showed that for the 67 countries, food needs in year 2000 doubled when income inequality was taken into account.

  • Implications of Trade Liberalization on Food Security of Low-Income Countries

    AIB-765-5, April 26, 2001

    This issue paper discusses how agricultural trade liberalization will affect low-income, food-insecure countries. Most countries and regions show modest reductions in food insecurity from liberalization due to domestic supply response that reacts to high prices.

  • Food Security Assessment GFA13

    GFA-13, April 01, 2002

    The Food Security Assessment report provides food gap and hunger projections for 67 potentially food insecure countries in North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and NIS.

  • Food Security Assessment GFA14

    GFA-14, February 03, 2003

    This report projects food gaps in 70 low-income developing countries and presents findings for North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union.

  • Global Hunger at Its Roots

    Amber Waves, February 03, 2003

    The World Food Summit in 1996 aimed to reduce hunger by focusing on its roots: poverty, low agricultural productivity, environmental degradation, poorly designed government policies, and, increasingly, AIDS. These underlying causes are interrelated in many ways.

  • Food Security Assessment, GFA-15

    GFA-15, May 20, 2004

    Just over 900 million people in the 70 low-income countries studied in this report are estimated to have consumed less than the recommended nutritional requirements in 2003. This marks a decline from more than 1 billion in 2002. Although food security is expected to improve in all regions over the coming decade, this improvement will vary. Food security is projected to improve most significantly in Asia, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean. Although some improvement is also expected in Sub-Saharan Africa, the deep poverty at the root of hunger problems in the lower income population will remain unchanged. Food aid has been and continues to be an important tool used by the international community to fight hunger in low-income countries, and the United States is the dominant food donor country. However, the effectiveness of food aid could be improved by increased coordination between donor groups, more transparent eligibility criteria, and fewer fluctuations in year-to-year aid levels.

  • Fifty Years of U.S. Food Aid and Its Role in Reducing World Hunger

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2004

    Overall, the impact of food aid in reducing hunger has fallen short of its potential and, in some cases, has negatively affected the economies of the recipient countries. A more important problem lies in the fact that there is no coordination among donors to establish guidelines for distribution and need-based targeting of food aid.

  • Some Improvements Are Projected for Global Food Security

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    The number of people worldwide consuming below the nutritional requirement is estimated to decline about 27 percent between 2004 and 2014. Performance by region varies significantly, with the sharpest declines projected for the Asian and Latin American/Caribbean regions, each at 46 percent.

  • Current Activities

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2005

    Previews of research in the works at ERS - September 2005

  • Asia Leads World in Reducing Hunger

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2006

    Asia has led the world in reducing hunger (down about 30 percent). Examples of success include Bangladesh and Vietnam, both of which already have met the World Food Summit goal.

  • Indian Wheat and Rice Sector Policies and the Implications of Reform

    ERR-41, May 03, 2007

    The pronounced market cycles and declines in per capita consumption of India's major food staples, as well as budgetary concerns, are creating pressure for Indian policymakers to adjust longstanding policies.

  • Factors Behind the Rise in Global Rice Prices in 2008

    RCS-09D01, May 07, 2009

    Global rice prices rose to record highs in the spring of 2008, with trading prices tripling from November 2007 to late April 2008. The price increase was not due to crop failure or a particularly tight global rice supply situation. Instead, trade restrictions by major suppliers, panic buying by several large importers, a weak dollar, and record oil prices were the immediate cause of the rise in rice prices. Because rice is critical to the diet of about half the world's population, the rapid increase in global rice prices in late 2007 and early 2008 had a detrimental impact on those rice consumers' well-being. Although rice prices have dropped more than 40 percent from their April 2008 highs, they remain well above pre-2007 levels.

  • Food Insecurity Less Prevalent in Canada Than in the United States

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2009

    Nationally representative Canadian and U.S. surveys indicate that 7.0 percent of Canadians lived in food-insecure households in 2004, compared with an average of 12.6 percent of U.S. residents in 2003-05. Holding other factors constant, food insecurity was less prevalent in Canada than in the U.S. for household with incomes just above the U.S. poverty line, those with no high school graduate, those with children present, and those with adults age 25 and older.

  • Global Economic Crisis Threatens Food Security in Lower Income Countries

    Amber Waves, December 01, 2009

    The global economic downturn is expected to reduce import capacity in many lower income countries, adversely affecting their food security. The number of food-insecure people in the 70 developing countries studied by ERS is estimated to increase 2 percent in 2009, after growing 11 percent in 2008.

  • Growth and Equity Effects of Agricultural Marketing Efficiency Gains in India

    ERR-89, December 17, 2009

    ERS examines the performance of India's agricultural marketing system and analyzes economywide implications of improved marketing efficiency that might stem from future reforms.

  • Trade and Food Security Implications From the Indonesian Agricultural Experience

    WRS-1001, May 17, 2010

    This report evaluates the impact of Indonesia's transition from a food-first focus to an export-oriented development strategy on its agricultural production, productivity growth, consumer food demand, and lifestyle. Shifting production and consumption patterns have led to improving agricultural trade patterns and food security, which in turn have contributed to increased export opportunities for U.S. agricultural suppliers.

  • Former Soviet Union Region To Play Larger Role in Meeting World Wheat Needs

    Amber Waves, June 01, 2010

    The next decade is likely to see a major shift in global wheat production and trade. USDA projects that wheat exports by Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan will increase by 50 percent by 2019, and the region could lead the world in wheat exports by the end of the period.

  • A Positive Path for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa: Options and Challenges

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2010

    Global food security improved between 2009 and 2010, as the effects of food price spikes and the global economic downturn moderated, but projections point to deteriorating food security over the next 10 years, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.