Food Security in the 21st century

With the world's population fast approaching seven billion, one of the main challenges facing the human race is how to feed its people. It's estimated that a rise in food production of at least 50% will be needed by 2030 to meet increasing food demands, against a backdrop of accelerating climate change and increasingly unpredictable weather extremes.

While the effects of expanding constraints on food supplies will be felt by all, the impact will inevitably fall first on those countries in the developing world with the fewest resources. Today around one billion people regularly go hungry - a situation that can only worsen without urgent, collective action.

And food production itself is only part of the problem. Food security isn't just about exploiting scientific and technological advances to increase crop yields, it's also about addressing the associated economic, social and environmental factors to enable the people of our planet to have uninterrupted access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food. There are no simple answers.

Here at Lancaster University we're at the forefront of research into global food security. For example, a group of Biologists from the Lancaster Environment Centre is currently helping farmers in some of the driest regions of the world cope more successfully with drought. It's a project that has earned the university the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The work we do is contributing to improving food security for some of the world's most vulnerable societies in more than 30 countries. But we urgently need your help to expand and extend these essential programmes. Perhaps we could benefit from your professional expertise, or maybe your company could support a specific research project. How about funding a deserving student from the developing world to gain skills to help their country? Or simply backing our dedicated team by helping to provide the resources they need to grow...

It's more than a gift of time, expertise or money - it's your chance to help us change the world!

MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security

LEC is launching a new Master's course in association with colleagues from other institutions and faculties across the University. The course comprises 6 months of specialised course work, followed by an individual piece of research, leading to an M Sc. (A two year option comprising a 12 months overseas research placement leading to an M Sc Research is also available)

Some Food Security-related expertise at Lancaster