Thanks to the “green revolution,” continuing productivity gains from biotechnology and advances in production technology, sufficient food is at least theoretically available to feed the world’s population. All too often, however, artificial trade policy barriers low incomes, and inadequate transportation, storage and marketing systems block food from flowing to people in need. Use of food embargoes as political leverage and imposition of export embargoes in response to domestic supply considerations also undermine the reliability of the safety net that international agricultural trade provides.
In addition, deprivation of food is sometimes used as a weapon. Outright starvation still exists in the world today, chiefly in areas where the collapse of civil authority, banditry and sometimes a deliberate policy of population displacement block distribution of even emergency food relief.
“Food security” is thus inseparable from policy discussions about political stability, economic development, rural employment and infrastructure planning, as well as international trade.