Date of this Version
Outlooks on Pest Management 26:4 (August 2015), pp. 148–151.
The World Food Summit of 1966 defined ”food security” as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” Food insecurity is part of a continuum that includes hunger (food deprivation), malnutrition (deficiencies, imbalances, or excess of nutrients), and famine. The world faces three major challenges: (1) to match the rapidly changing demand for food, (2) to do so in ways that are environmentally and socially acceptable, and (3) to ensure that the world’s poorest people are no longer hungry. World population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050. To feed this population, there must be a 60–70% increase in food production. The effects of climate change must also be dealt with. The area under cultivation is not expected to expand to meet the gap, and we have yet to meet it by increasing yield per unit area and reducing losses in field and post-harvest handling. A concerted effort to reduce losses without jeopardizing environmental and public health concerns by adopting Integrated Pest Management (IPM) could reduce the loss by 50%, leading to a needed increase in food production of only 30%. Over several decades, the IPM Collaborative Research Program (CRSP) consortium developed IPM packages for tomatoes, other tropical vegetables, fruit, and grain crops and disseminated in host countries through research and extension arms. In addition, several national, regional, and international workshops have been conducted. The IPM Innovation Lab (new name for CRSP in 2013) is playing a vital role in the struggle for global food security. This will continue through the new Feed the Future IPM Innovation Lab which has expanded beyond a limited number of vegetables to include more vegetables, rice, fruit, maize, chickpea, climate change, and invasive species.