Oil crops, aquaculture, and the rising role of demand: A fresh perspective on food security
This article in the Global Food Security journal explores how economic growth, income distribution, and trade have influenced patterns of food demand and food security since 1990. It focuses on two of the most rapidly expanding segments of the world food economy, tropical oil crops and aquaculture. Aquaculture, palm oil and soy production have risen by 5–7% annually since 1990. The global economy has also experienced remarkable growth during the past twenty-five years. The related rising incomes have helped to alleviate extreme poverty and calorie deficiencies worldwide, and have fueled demand for animal protein and processed foods. Income disparities have also widened, leaving the majority of the world’s population in the lower income groups. The major oil crops are not produced mainly by the poor for the poor. The commodity groups of tropical oil crops and aquaculture involve multinational companies and smallholder producers oriented mainly around global markets. Aquaculture systems are diverse and have mixed nutritional outcomes for the poor. Enhancing food security in these systems requires new analytical frameworks. To date, however, Sub-Saharan Africa has largely been by-passed by growth in both sectors.