Food Security

Food insecurity is a pressing global challenge. IDS-Oxfam research has found that the 2007-11 global food crisis brought about lasting changes in how people work, what they eat and how they care for their families. The causes of food insecurity are complex and the integrated approach required to effectively tackle the problem is often lacking. 

Malawi Farmers

IDS’ research on food security cuts across a number of teams and disciplines and seeks to inform and shape current policy debates on developing a joined up response to delivering greater food security and justice for all

Social protection and food security

Fellows across IDS have been exploring the complex causes underlying the global problem of food security including food price spikes, fair access to land and water and the impact of climate change.

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year research programme, which builds on more than a decade of research and policy engagement work by the Future Agricultures Consortium. The aim of the project is to produce new information and insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in order to assess their impacts and outcomes on rural poverty, empowerment of women and girls, and food and nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project with Oxfam, IDS researchers and partners found that people are no longer experiencing price rises as shocks but rather as a constant pressure, particularly as wages are not rising as fast as the growing cost of living.

The role of the private sector in helping to deliver new food security initiatives

IDS research is also looking at the role of the private sector in increasing the availability and access to food through investments in agriculture and working in partnership with small holder famers. IDS Fellows have also worked with partners such as Oxfam (Growing a Better Future) and Action Against Hunger (Aid for Nutrition) to produce new research on how to tackle global food insecurity and undernutrition.

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UK-Brazil Learning Exchange on Food and Nutrition Policy

IDS and Food Foundation partner with Brazilian researchers to explore mutual learning on food and nutrition security policy, bringing together parliamentarians, civil society and policy actors to discuss best practice. More details

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View all Research Theme's publications

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This is the front cover to the book, 'Food Riots, Food Rights and the Politics of Provisions'.

Food Riots, Food Rights and the Politics of Provisions

Thousands of people in dozens of countries took to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011. What does the persistence of popular mobilization around food tell us about the politics of subsistence in an era of integrated food markets and universal human rights? More details

Famine_Lessons_Learned_cover

Famine: Lessons Learned

Report (2017)

Famine: Lessons Learned was produced as the world was responding to four potential famines simultaneously – in Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. More details

Illustration of rural scene with protestors

Emancipatory Rural Politics: Confronting Authoritarian Populism

Journal of Peasant Studies Forum on: Authoritarian Populism and the Rural World (2017)

Academic paper exploring the rise of authoritarian politics around the world, and how it relates to rural areas. More details

This is the cover to the report 'Precarious Lives'.

Precarious Lives: Or Why it's Vital to Protect the Right to Food in the Face of Market Volatility

The global food crisis of 2007-11 left food prices higher and more volatile than they had been for a generation. The Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project explored the everyday aspects of people's lives, as they responded to this change in prices. The project found that people are no longer experiencing price rises as shocks but rather as a constant pressure, particularly as wages are no More details

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The Political Economy of Sugar in Southern Africa: Introduction

Journal of Southern African Studies (2016)

In this introductory paper we review historic and contemporary development of sugar cane production across the southern Africa. We argue that the region’s sugar industry provides a useful lens through which to understand current dynamics of corporate capital and agricultural production in Africa. More details

This is the front cover to 'Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care After the Global Food Crisis'.

Precarious Lives: Food, Work and Care After the Global Food Crisis

IDS-Oxfam Report (2016)

This report finds that the global food crises of 2007-11 has brougth about lasting changes to the relationship between the work people do and the food they eat - the costs of which have gone uncounted. More details

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A New Politics of Development Cooperation? Chinese and Brazilian Engagements in African Agriculture

World Development 81 (2016)

The paper asks if a new paradigm for development cooperation is emerging, and argues that we must move beyond the simplistic narratives of either 'South–South' collaboration or “neo-imperial” expansion of “rising powers” to look at the dynamic and contested politics of engagement, as new forms of capital and technology enter African contexts. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection for Enhanced Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

Food Policy 60 (2016)

This paper identifies several positive synergies between social protection programmes and enhanced entitlements to food. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Realising the Right to Social Security and the Right to Food.

This paper identifies conceptual synergies and dissonances between food security and income security. More details

This is the cover to IDS Bulletin 46.6, 'Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility'.

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

IDS Bulletin 46.6 (2015)

Between 2007 and 2012 global food price volatility affected millions of people on low and precarious incomes. As food has been increasingly commodified and people on low incomes have struggled to pay for life’s necessities, they have responded by changing their ways of making a living, residences, diets, family relationships and ways of caring for one another. More details

This is the front cover to the report, 'Delicious, Disgusting, Dangerous: Eating in a Time of Food Price Volatility'.

Delicious, Disgusting, Dangerous: Eating in a Time of Food Price Volatility (summary)

Report (2015)

This is a Summary of the third year results of the study Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, which uncover the realities of what people on low and precarious incomes are eating. More details

This is the front cover to the report, 'Delicious, Disgusting, Dangerous: Eating in a Time of Food Price Volatility'.

Delicious, Disgusting, Dangerous: Eating in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Report (2015)

The third year results of the study Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility uncover the realities of what people on low and precarious incomes are eating. More details

ER149_FrontCover

Edible Insects and the Future of Food: A Foresight Scenario Exercise on Entomophagy and Global Food Security

IDS Evidence Report 149 (2015)

This document reports on the findings of a small project in which we used the tools of Foresight to think about the potential of edible insects to contribute to global food security in a future global food system. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 461, 'Food Riots and Food Rights: the Moral and Political Economy of Accountability for Hunger in Kenya'.

Food Riots and Food Rights: the Moral and Political Economy of Accountability for Hunger in Kenya

IDS Working Paper 461 (2015)

The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity to the annals of history. So why did thousands of people in dozens of countries take to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Equate and Conflate: Political Commitment to Hunger and Undernutrition Reduction in Five High-Burden Countries

World Development 76 (2015)

As political commitment is an essential ingredient for elevating food and nutrition security onto policy agendas, commitment metrics have proliferated. Many conflate government commitment to fight hunger with combating undernutrition. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Integrated Quantitative-Qualitative Analysis for Guatemala: Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security in a Time of Volatility

Overall, the analyses aim to explore the impacts of food price volatility on poverty, well being, and food security. The global food crisis from 2007-08 serves as cut off point for exploring the households’ situation before and after well known food price changes. More details

IDS publications on international development research

New Challenges to Food Security: From Climate Change to Fragile States

This book explores how food production and consumption is embedded in powerful political and market forces and how these influence local actions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Scenarios for Global Agriculture and Food Security Towards 2050: A Review of Recent Studies

This book explores how food production and consumption is embedded in powerful political and market forces and how these influence local actions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Illustrating the Rise in Food Prices in Zambia: Household Expenditure Shares and Price Indexes, 2006 and 2010

Food consumption and subsequently household welfare are sensitive to changes in food prices. This is especially so among poorer households who can spend up to three quarters of their income on food (Cranfield, Preckel, & Hertel, 2007). More details

IDS publications on international development research

"The Constitution Lies To Us": Securing Accountability for the Right to Food in Kenya

Food Riots and Food Rights project report (2014)

Factors rooted in Kenya’s history and political economy have dampened citizen expectations of the state, thwarted popular mobilisation and generated weak state responses. This raises a question of responsibility. In this paper, we explore the failure and efforts to overcome them, before considering how accountability for hunger can be made the norm. More details

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