Feeding the world’s population, which is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, is arguably the most important challenge facing policymakers. Amid food price shocks and an unpredictable climate, how we approach even the most basic components of food security—what to eat and how to grow it—comes into question. To find lasting solutions to hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, we need to reassess how to meet the rising demand for food without generating large food price increases. Through its rigorous, wide-ranging policy research, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) works to clarify options and identify solutions.
During 2011, poor people in developing countries faced some of the most acute challenges seen in recent years, including excessive food price spikes, extreme weather shocks, and famine in the Horn of Africa. These challenges imposed high costs in terms of money and human well-being. And extremes in weather and food prices appear likely to continue for some time. Given these realities, much of IFPRI’s research, analysis, and outreach in 2011 focused on how to increase resilience to help the world’s poor minimize the risks they face in these extreme—though increasingly commonplace—circumstances.