The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has just published its Statistical Yearbook for 2013. The annual report “aims to be a unique reference point on the state of world food and agriculture for policy-makers, donor agencies, researchers and analysts, as well as the general public.” This year’s edition focuses on food production and trade, food availability and insecurity, environmental and agricultural sustainability, and climate change, among other topics.
In the section of the publication entitled “Hunger Dimensions,” FAO reports that in 2010-2012, one-eighth of the world population “did not consume enough food to cover their minimum energy requirements.” This translates to about 870 million people. And of this group, 852 million lived in developing countries.
Poverty represents the primary cause of hunger, and while there has been notably progress in poverty reduction in recent years, such improvement varies place by place. “Since , poverty has fallen rapidly and significantly in China and other Asian countries, while many countries in sub-Saharan African and Southern Asia have shown less and slower progress.”
The report also addresses the growing world population — and the food supply needed to sustain an estimated 9 billion people by 2050. According to the FAO, “global agricultural production will have to increase by 60 percent from its 2005-2007 levels.”