Global Food Security Blog

A feed from Global Food Security’s blog including contributions from academics, policy makers, farmers and end-users.


6 March 2017. Locking up a killer virus – The world has celebrated rinderpest virus eradication. But an FAO video shows there’s cleaning up to do after the party. Virologist Michael Baron explains. Rinderpest, aka ’cattle plague’, was with us for a long time, at least 2000 years. Over the centuries, the virus killed uncounted millions of animals in Asia and Europe. When it […]

7 February 2017. Research strategy in a changing world – Head of Global Food Security (GFS) Riaz Bhunnoo outlines the programme’s plans and policies for the future. The world is a changing place. The political, scientific, and funding landscapes in which we operate are all evolving, as is the food security challenge. This shifting context makes developing a new Global Food Security (GFS) programme strategy […]

16 January 2017. Natural killers: developing better biopesticides – As armyworms return to devastate crops in Africa, Lancaster University’s Professor Ken Wilson reports on renewed efforts to bring a sustainable solution. As we roll into 2017, my thoughts cast back to a whirlwind visit I made to Zambia at about the same time of year four years ago. I witnessed a major outbreak of […]

19 December 2016. My vegan challenge: how hard is it to change your diet? – The Global Food Security programme’s Sian Williams decided to cut all meat and animal products from her diet to see how difficult it would be to eat more sustainably. Never one to shy away from an experiment, I took on the challenge of changing my previously omnivorous diet to become vegan for a month, hoping […]

28 November 2016. Temperate matters in agriculture – Most of the world’s food is produced in temperate zones. The Global Food Security programme’s Evangelia Kougioumoutzi reports on the TempAg Network. Agricultural production in temperate regions is highly productive with a significant proportion of global output originating from temperate (i.e. non-tropical) countries – 21% of global meat production and 20% of global cereal production […]

31 October 2016. “We are the champions, my friends” – The Global Food Security programme’s Champion, Professor Tim Benton, reflects on leaving the role after five years in the post. After five years, my term as the Champion for the UK’s Global Food Security programme has come to an end. It has been a fascinating and rewarding experience, even if at times exhausting and frustrating. […]

17 October 2016. For food security we need soil security – Chris Collins from the Soil Research Centre reviews the actions and intentions of an ongoing research programme. The world will struggle to meet environmental targets around climate change, biodiversity and food production unless we understand our soil. The contribution of soil to human well-being is often ignored. While we are all aware of the benefits […]

19 September 2016. The lost world: DNA and wheat’s 12,000 year past – Retracing our genetic path of plant domestication can help us produce newer, better varieties to enhance food security, says the Earlham Institute’s Dr Peter Bickerton. It wasn’t long ago that we first traded hunting for a more sedentary life – harnessing the grasses of the Fertile Crescent. Yet, over the last 12,000 years, though we […]

5 September 2016. Energy and food production: powering the balancing act – Blackouts and water shortages can severely harm a nation’s food security. Resource allocation tools can help policy makers improve energy access while minimising hunger, says the Stockholm Environment Institute’s Louise Karlberg. Last July, Zambia found itself in the midst of a crippling energy crisis caused by low water levels in the reservoirs for hydropower generation. […]

22 August 2016. Eyeing up intake: an Insight on overconsumption and diet – How can we help people make better dietary choices for their health and the planet? The Global Food Security programme’s Sian Williams introduces a new report. Switching on the news on 1 April can be a minefield – this year the global news headlines were dominated by just one story – there are now more […]