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Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Food Security Research, Capacity-Building, and Outreach


  • Food Security Group at Michigan State University


Decades of research have led to substantially improved understanding of the nature of food insecurity. Until the food crisis of 2007/08, a combination of economic growth and targeted programs resulted in a steady fall in the percentage of the world’s population suffering from under-nutrition (from 20% in 1990/92 to 16% in 2006). Yet over a billion people still face both chronic and/or transitory food insecurity due to long-standing problems of inadequate income, low-productivity in agricultural production and marketing, and related problems of poor health and absence of clean water. Among regions of the world, the greatest number of the food insecure lives in South Asia, while Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has the highest proportion of population that is food insecure. Achieving adequate food security for such a large number of people is increasingly challenging due to a combination of economic, social, political and environmental factors. This document contains an overview of the past 25 years of research, capacity-building, and outreach by MSU’s Food Security Group. The paper describes key elements of the FSG approach and draws lessons regarding the value of that model. It also examines the insights gained from research and outreach, primarily in Africa, and their value to the U.S. Global Food Security Initiative in addressing the major current challenges facing food and agricultural systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Food Security Group at Michigan State University, 2009. "Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Food Security Research, Capacity-Building, and Outreach," Food Security International Development Working Papers 55047, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:55047

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edwards, William M. & McGrann, J. M., 1979. "Application of the Programmable Calculator to Extension Agricultural Management Programs: Experience from Iowa," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34485, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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