Main Page
Managing Water Resources
Food Security for the Poor
Challenging the Tsetse
Nuclear Technology
Viet Nam Advances
Health Problems of the Poor
Environmental Management
Strengthening Nuclear Safety
The Science Serving People brochure is available for download in Adobe Acrobat format
PDF with images (2,9 MB)
PDF with text only (1 MB)
TC Web site

Promoting Food Security for the Poor

Far more food is available per person worldwide today than 40 years ago, and the real price of food fell by over 40 per cent since 1960. Yet close to 800 million people around the world remain chronically undernourished, according to the FAO. This includes 200 million children who suffer from serious protein and caloric deficiencies.

Food production in many developing countries has failed to keep pace with the needs of a rapidly growing urban population. Global population is currently expanding by about 75 million annually, and some experts estimate that global grain production will need to increase by 40 to meet demand in 2020.

Most of the world’s hungry people live in low-income rural areas of food-deficit countries (LIFDCs). There are over 80 LIFDCs, and half are in Africa. For most of these countries, the best option for improving food security is to increase both the quantity and quality of food available in small farm communities. This can be achieved through on-farm productivity improvements, enhancing the nutritional content of food, and bringing more land under cultivation.

Progress in agricultural development is critical to poverty alleviation in the LIFDCs and enhancing poor peoples’ access to sufficient quantities of quality food. IAEA TC initiatives to build food security focus on using nuclear technologies to help raise the output and incomes of the rural poor. This is being achieved through removing obstacles to growth—including such insect pests as the tsetse fly, which spreads diseases in both humans and cattle and limits opportunity for higher productivity, mixed farming—and enhancing the productive qualities of plants, animals, soils, and other food producing resources.

The fight against food insecurity is being won in many poor countries and poor communities. Nuclear-induced mutation breeding in Viet Nam has helped lead to higher rice yields and farm incomes, and helped turn the country from a net food importer to a food exporter. Tsetse eradication on Zanzibar Island is boosting the production and marketing of milk and milk products, and contributing to better nutrition. And groundbreaking field research in Morocco and Pakistan is demonstrating that the desert can bloom when salt water and salt-tolerant plants are managed scientifically on the farm.

  Promoting Food Security for the Poor
Challenging Tsetse on its Home Turf: Campaign Moves to Africa’s Heartlands Full Story...
Learning from Ztouti’s Farm: Nuclear Technology Helps Crops Grow in Morocco’s Salty Soils Full Story...
Viet Nam Advances Toward Food Security Using Nuclear Techniques Full Story...

A wide variety of nuclear methods are contributing to better nutrition and incomes for the rural poor.

TC Web site