Ireland tops world league for country ‘best able to feed itself’
Ireland, for the first time, has topped the global ranking of how well countries can feed themselves, Bloomberg reports.
The data shows that Ireland is the most ‘food secure’ country in the world, knocking the US off the top of the world list as its food affordability, availability, quality and safety ranked highest in the world, thanks to its agricultural research.
The US is still the largest food exporter in the world, Bloomberg reports, but the annual Global Food Security Index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which was released this week, shows that worldwide, food security fell for the first time in five years, largely because of increases in the number of refugees, weather disasters and a decline in global political stability.
Commissioned by Dupont this year saw added metrics based on climate and natural-resource risks. Adjusting for those factors, the US fell to fourth place, with Austria and France moving ahead.
“Food security is in reverse,” said Robert Powell, a senior consultant with the Economist Intelligence Unit in New York. “If we’re aiming for zero hunger, we’re going in the wrong direction.”
Figures from the United Nations last month show that the number of people suffering from hunger rose by about 38m to 815m in 2016.
The report says that climate change is seen as a driver of increasing weather volatility which is contributing to famines in developing nations.
Richer nations have fewer problems providing inexpensive, plentiful and safe food to their citizens. Still, risks remain, and some are increasing, according to the study.