Despite Sufficient Crop Harvests, We Will Fall Short of U.N. Food Security Goal

May 18, 2022

University of Minnesota Senior Research Scientist Deepak Ray, with global collaborators, mapped crop harvests for seven end-uses and found that harvests of crops for direct food use will be insufficient to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SD2) of food security for all by 2030. 

The top ten global crops (barley, cassava, maize/corn, palm oil, rapeseed/canola, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugar cane, and wheat) currently account for over 80 percent of all harvested crop calories. Today, we grow and harvest sufficient total calories from these crops to meet food security demands, and will likely continue in the future. But, not all harvested crop calories are used for direct food consumption. Increased competition for crops for other uses means a smaller fraction of harvested calories are available to feed people.

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A large piece of farm equipment harvests crops on farmland.