Food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture - France’s strategy (22 Oct. 19)


Food insecurity currently affects 1 in 9 people worldwide. Despite the ongoing efforts, the situation has been worsening since 2015. In 2050, the world will need to provide appropriate nutrition for 10 billion humans and despite the effects of climate change. To achieve this, we must review our agricultural and food systems and support sustainable rural development.

With its partners, France is fully committed to this transformation. France’s International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture (2019-2024) is its new roadmap.

Useful definitions

Food and nutritional security:

  • France shares the definition of food and nutrition security of the Committee on World Food Security : Food and nutrition security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.


  • Malnutrition is a poor nutritional state caused by a poor quality or insufficient quantity of nutrient intake or the body’s poor absorption of nutrients.

The Global Context

Hunger has increased in recent years, progress on malnutrition is too slow and obesity is increasing in all regions of the world:

  • Over 2 billion people, or 26.4% of the global population, are in a situation of moderate or severe food insecurity.
    820 million people are in a situation of serious food insecurity, meaning they suffer from hunger.
    6 in 10 people suffering from hunger live in countries affected by conflict
    6 in 10 people suffering from hunger are women

1.3 billion people live in a situation of moderate food hunger , where they don’t have regular access to sufficient healthy and nutritional food.

  • Obesity affects 670 million adults and is also becoming a key issue.
  • Africa is the region most affected by food and nutritional insecurity: 20% of the population is under-fed, malnutrition is still widespread and obesity rates are growing rapidly.

Food is not lacking, but climate change, conflicts and poverty in rural households impacts the access, regular availability or quality of the food available for consumption.

Access to quality food remains, however, an essential condition for human development. Sustainable Development Goal 2 confirms the desire for a hunger-free world by 2030.

How to fight food insecurity?

To put an end to this inequality and provide suitable nutrition for the world’s population, it is essential to transform our agricultural and food systems. Agriculture must be more sustainable and effective from economic, social and environmental perspectives in order to ensure food security and the health of individuals but also the development of countries.

The 5 axes of France’s International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture (2019-2024) :

  • Strengthening global governance of food security and nutrition. France wishes to play a driving role in improving the effectiveness and coordination of international actors in these fields; the UN institutions based in Rome are at the core of this governance;
  • Developing sustainable agricultural and food systems to confront climate change and the erosion of biodiversity. This will be achieved mainly by promoting sustainable agricultural practices such as agroecology.
  • Strengthening France’s action on nutrition to work in tandem on the various factors leading to undernutrition of young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, such as the access to high-quality food, drinking water and good hygiene conditions.
  • Supporting the structuring of sustainable agrifood chains to promote the creation of decent jobs in rural areas, especially for young people. In developing countries, these agrifood chains represent a source of employment which should be supported. Including family agriculture in these chains is a key issue.
  • Enhancing food assistance actions for vulnerable populations and improving their resilience. Against a backdrop of recurrent food crises, the goal is to enable these populations to regain their food autonomy.
Download France’s International Strategy for Food Security, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture

What is France currently doing?

France is working to ensure healthy, nutritional and sufficient food for all through:

  • The Agence Française de Développement’s grassroots projects which committed €935 million to agricultural development and food security in 2018.
  • Its diplomatic action in the UN forums and with the European Union and within the framework of the G7 and G20.
  • Programmes led by its research bodies, in particular the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA),
  • Programmed food assistance, with €40 million in 2019 to help populations regain their food autonomy and their means of production and improve their resistance to potential future crises.