Partnering for food security

805 million people – or one in 11 – are chronically hungry and malnourished on the planet today. By 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to an estimated 9 billion people, which will further aggravate the situation. Meeting this demand for food will be particularly challenging, as supply is constrained by factors such as climate change, depleted agricultural soils and the distribution of land, water and energy.

Most farming in the world is still carried out by small-scale subsistence farmers, who feed their families and sell a small surplus on local markets. This needs to change as more and more people are living in cities. Recently, the urban population exceeded the rural one for the first time ever, which means that cities are becoming increasingly dependent on the remaining farmers for their food.

The surplus subsistence farmers currently produce will not be enough to feed the growing population in our cities. Smallholder farmers must make the transition to commercial agriculture to feed the world. For this, they need access to credit so they can buy tools, seeds and fertilizer. But lending will remain restricted if banks fear that farmers will be unable to pay back their loans in the event of a lost harvest due to drought, flood or other disasters. Here, insurance can play the same role in the developing world as it already does in developed countries: protecting farmers against the perils of nature to keep them in business, even if disaster strikes.

Our notable achievements in 2015:

  • We looked at the whole food value chain from “farm to fork” by providing for the first time our research insights on food security in the publication “Food safety in a globalised world”, which we launched at the EXPO in Milan (;
  • We published seven more fact sheets providing key data on insurance in African countries and also explored new types of coverage in our publications on livestock and aquaculture;
  • We strengthened the spread of index insurance products in countries across the globe by sharing our know-how at the Global Index Insurance Conference ( in Paris, where governments, banks, multilateral donors, food companies, development experts and international organisations gathered.