Bringing it all together : linking measures to secure nations’ food supply

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article


Research units

  • German Federal Institute of Hydrology
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Australian National University
  • University of Chicago
  • NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • University of Göttingen


A growing human population and changing consumption patterns threaten adequate food supply globally by increasing pressure on already scarce land and water resources. Various measures have been suggested to sustainably secure future food supply: diet change, food loss reduction and closing the yield gap of nutrients as well as water. As yet, they have been assessed separately or, if combined, at a global or macro-region level only. In this paper, we carry out a review and integration of this literature to provide a first estimate of the combined potential of these measures at country level. The overall potential increase in global food supply was estimated to be 111% and 223% at moderate and high implementation levels, respectively. Projected global food demand in 2050 could thus be met, but deficiencies in various countries in Africa and the Middle East appear inevitable without changes to trade or adapting with future innovations. Further, this analysis highlights country-level management opportunities for each intervention studied. Several potential future research opportunities are proposed to improve integration of measures.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-117
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

ID: 18106824