Global Resources and Food Security


World population grows year by year accompanied by a rising global food demand. Despite increasing global food production significant parts of the world suffer hunger. At the same time a higher prevalence of obesity is obvious, even in developing countries. What drivers are behind these developments? Which role plays the international trade? What options the policy-makers have to improve this double burden?

The coexistence of hunger, excess and waste of food in different regions of the world worries many parts of the society. Societal perceptions can even be sharpened to the negative end when stakeholders or institutions offer apparently obvious and consistent solutions which policymakers "simply do not enforce". The causes of uneven food supply worldwide are, however, very complex and many well-intentioned ad-doc solutions turn out to be infeasible. Some well-meant solutions even have negative impacts. Hence it is our task as researchers to provide advices to policymakers very cautiously, considering the multidimensionality of food production, distribution, and nutritional trends worldwide.

All in all, food security includes far more than the acute fight against hunger. The challenge entails the necessity to increase income as well as to ensure all people access to nutrient-rich, high-quality and well-balanced food at all times. This means that farmers need secure framework conditions, i.e. equal access to production inputs and knowledge, functioning infrastructures and market services, to produce diverse food to feed themselves, their families and to supply markets.

For a long time many national governmental and non-governmental international organizations are active in this area. In our federal research institute, by contrast, global food security was of minor importance in the past. In 2012 the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) announced its global food strategy and its intention to give higher priority to this topic in future. Thus, the Thünen Institute is the main point of contact of the BMEL for questions of global food security and agricultural policy combating hunger.

In this context we draw on our international networking experience:

  • At global level: We analyze international agricultural trade issues and their impact on the supply in developing food deficit countries. Additionally we observe and analyze global trends in agriculture, and impacts of climate change and the increased use of biofuels on global food security issues.
  • At national level: In various developing countries we examine opportunities for designing a agro-political framework impacting an improved income and food situation.
  • At micro level: We monitor the productivity of agriculture and fisheries operating units in developing and developed countries. Together with local stakeholders we analyze how to improve productivity, increase small-scale farmers’ income and supply local and international food markets.

Our activities on food security and poverty eradication issues are based on long-term co-operations with scientific institutions and NGOs worldwide, resulting in reports, capacity building and knowledge transfer. One key stone of our work in improving food security is a close co-operation to other international organizations and research partners such as FAO, IFPRI, CGIAR and OECD.

 (©  Michael Welling)
Myths and Mistakes
Many mistakes have crept into the public perception of global food security. We have asked questions and given answers. Do you know?
 (©  )
Develop local markets, understand global trade
Adequate and balanced meals are the basis of a healthy diet and often unaffordable for poor people. What can domestic production and trade contribute to improving food security for those people?
 (©  Gilles Paires –
Greater Yield through know-how
Will we be able to feed the growing world population and to help the environment at the same time? In many parts of the world there is great unused potential to increase yields. We have to exploit this potential to make agricultural production more sustainable
 (©  Thünen-Institut/Katja Seifert)
Opportunities and limits of aquaculture
With an annual growth rate of approximately 8% aquaculture is the strongest growing agricultural sector worldwide. Today already half of the world’s fish demand is met by aquaculture.


State: Institute:
State Institute Institutabk Title Begin BeginnSort End EndeSort
ongoing ma,pbMACS-G20 Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Jun 20172017-01May 20212021-01
ongoing maConsumers' preferences and demand for imported poultry meat in GhanaJan 20172017-01Nov 20192019-01
ongoing lr,bwPathways to reduce food waste (REFOWAS)Jun 20152015-01May 20182018-01
ongoing bdCultivation of legumes and catch crop mixtures as ecological focus areas: Effects on biodiversityFeb 20152015-01Jan 20182018-01
ongoing wfLaForeTJan 20152015-01Dec 20182018-01
ongoing maCapacity Building towards Food SecuritySep 20142014-01Sep 20172017-01
ongoing bdEffect of elevated CO2 concentrations on nitrogen uptake and remobilisation in the grain of wheatMay 20142014-01Sep 20172017-01
completed maDiversified Agriculture and the Nutrition of Zambian ChildrenJan 20142014-01Mar 20152015-01
ongoing bwSouth-East Asian agri benchmark network "rice economics"Sep 20132013-01Feb 20202020-01
completed maThe economic role of livestock for households in Subsaharan African countriesOct 20122012-01Dec 20162016-01
completed ma,lr,akFACCE MACSUR - Agriculture and Climate ChangeJun 20122012-01Jun 20172017-01
ongoing fiFishForFoodMay 20122012-01Sep 20172017-01
ongoing bdRisk to wheat yield by heat stress during anthesisApr 20122012-01Dec 20172017-01
completed sfCombination of offshore wind parks and marine aquaculture in the North sea - a realistic scenario?Apr 20122012-01Mar 20152015-01
completed bdResponses of barley genotypes to elevated CO2Jan 20112011-01Dec 20142014-01
completed olFeed less Food - concentrate reduced dairy goat keepingJan 20092009-01Dec 20142014-01
completed bwAll cattle for Jakarta?May 20082008-01Oct 20102010-01
ongoing bdNational Focal Centre of the UNECE ICP Vegetation Jan 20012001-01Dec 20182018-01
ongoing maImpact of Trade AgreementsJan 20012001-01Dec 20252025-01
ongoing bd,lrEffectc of future climate change on crop yield and quality Jan 19991999-01Dec 20182018-01
ongoing bwFurther development of the Thünen model network - Farm modelsDec 19951995-01Dec 20202020-01


2017Pucher J, Focken U (2017) Uptake of nitrogen from natural food into fish in differently managed polyculture ponds using 15N as tracer. Aquaculture Int 25(1):87-105, DOI:10.1007/s10499-016-0015-z
2016Nguyen NT, Pucher J, Becker K, Focken U (2016) Earthworm powder as an alternative protein source in diets for common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Aquacult Res 47(9):2917-2927, DOI:10.1111/are.12743
2016Krome C, Focken U (2016) Effects of earthworm, Perionyx excavatus meal in practical diets on growth and body composition of common carp, Cyprinus carpio. AACL Bioflux 9(2):340-344pdf document
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2016Pucher J, Mayrhofer R, El-Matbouli M, Focken U (2016) Effects of modified pond management on limnological parameters in small-scale aquaculture ponds in mountainous Northern Vietnam. Aquacult Res 47(1):56-70, DOI:10.1111/are.12465
2016Zhao G, Hoffmann H, Yeluripati JB, Specka X, Nendel C, Coucheney E, Kuhnert M, Tao F, Constantin J, Raynal H, Teixeira E, Grosz BP, Doro L, Kiese R, Eckersteen H, Haas E, Cammarano D, Kassie BT, Moriondo M, Trombi G, et al (2016) Evaluating the precision of eight spatial Sampling schemes in estimating regional means of simulated yield for two crops. Environ Modelling Software 80:100-112, DOI:10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.02.022
2016Mayrhofer R, Pucher J, Saleh M, Menanteau-Ledouble S, Bergmann S, Focken U, El-Matbouli M (2016) First detection of Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 in cultured common carp in Vietnam. Fish Pathol 51(1):28-31, DOI:10.3147/jsfp.51.28
2016Hoffmann H, Zhao G, Asseng S, Bindi M, Biernath C, Constantin J, Coucheney E, Dechow R, Doro L, Eckersteen H, Gaiser T, Grosz BP, Heinlein F, Kassie BT, Kersebaum KC, Klein C, Kuhnert M, Lewan E, Moriondo M, Nendel C, et al (2016) Impact of spatial soil and climate input data aggregation on regional yield simulations. PLoS One 11(4):e0151782, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0151782pdf document
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2016Krome C, Jauncey K, Focken U (2016) Jatropha curcas kernel meal as a replacement for fishmeal in practical Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus feeds. AACL Bioflux 9(3):590-596pdf document
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2016Kipling RP, Virkajärvi P, Breitsameter L, Curnel Y, De Swarf T, Gustavsson A-J, Hennart S, Höglind M, Järvenranta K, Minet J, Nendel C, Persson T, Picon-Cochard C, Rolinski S, Sandars DL, Scollan ND, Sebek L, Seddaiu G, Topp CFE, Twardy S (2016) Key challenges and priorities for modelling European grasslands under climate change. Sci Total Environ 566-567:851-864, DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.144
2015Mofya-Mukuka R, Kuhlgatz C (2015) Child malnutrition, agricultural diversification and commercialization among smallholders in Eastern Zambia. Lusaka: IAPRI, 24 p, Working Paper IAPRI 90
2015Köchy M (2015) Climate-change impacts on farming systems in the next decades: Why worry when you have CAP? A workshop for decisionmakers. Workshop Programme [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 6, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 10.12.2015]
2015Focken U, Krome C, Jauncey K (2015) Do oxalates from plant-based aquafeeds impede growth of common carp Cyprinus carpio? In: University of Belgrade, Serbia / Faculty of Agriculture (eds) VII International Conference Water & Fish : Conference Proceedings ; June 10-12, 2015. Belgrade: University of Belgrade, Serbia / Faculty of Agriculture, pp 49-55
2015Zhao G, Hoffmann H, Bussel LG van, Enders A, Specka X, Sosa C, Yeluripati JB, Tao F, Constantin J, Raynal H, Teixeira E, Grosz BP, Doro L, Zhao Z, Nendel C, Kiese R, Eckersteen H, Haas E, Vanuyrecht E, Wang E, et al (2015) Effect of weather data aggregation on regional crop simulation for different crops, production conditions, and response variables. Clim Res 65:141-157, DOI:10.3354/cr01301
2014Pucher J, Nikolaevskaya E, Focken U (2014) Apparent digestibility of earthworm meal in plant-based feeds for Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (L.). In: Tielkes E (ed) Tropentag 2014 : Bridging the gap between the increasing knowledge and decreasing resources ; Book of abstracts ; Wednesday - Friday, Sept. 17-19, 2014 Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. Prague: Czech University of Life Sciences, p 158
2014Efken J, Christoph-Schulz IB, Weible D, Käsbohrer A, Tenhagen B-A, Appel B, Bäurle H, Tamasy C, Spemann K (2014) Der Markt für Fleisch und Fleischprodukte [online]. German J Agric Econ 63(Suppl.):58-72, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 30.06.2014]
2014Krome C, Jauncey K, Focken U (2014) Development of aquafeeds for tilapia and carp using detoxified Jatropha carcas meal as protein source. In: Tielkes E (ed) Tropentag 2014 : Bridging the gap between the increasing knowledge and decreasing resources ; Book of abstracts ; Wednesday - Friday, Sept. 17-19, 2014 Czech University of Life Sciences Prague. Prague: Czech University of Life Sciences, p 163
2014Junker F, Wolf V, Banse M (2014) Feed - Food - Fuel: a perspective for Africa : Paper prepared for the 17th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis "New Challenges in Food Policy, Trede and Economic Vulnerability" ; Dakar, Senegal, June 18-20, 2014 [online]. 16 p, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 04.09.2014]pdf document
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2014Gonzalez Mellado AA, Kuhlgatz C, Salamon P (2014) Modeling the economic contribution of livestock to households in African countries - what data do we have and what do we still need? In: Conference proceedings of the 2014 GTAP conference in Dakar, Senegal. Purdue: GTAP, p 18
2014Mofya-Mukuka R, Kuhlgatz C (2014) Nutritional effects of agricultural diversification and commercialization in children in Zambia : paper selected for presentation at the AAEA Annual Conference, 27-29, 2014 ; Minneapolis, USA. Milwaukee: AAEA, 27 p
2014Banse M, Brouwer F, Palatnik RR, Sinabell F (2014) The economics of european agriculture under conditions of climate change (editorial) [online]. German J Agric Econ 63(3):131-132, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 03.11.2014]
2014Offermann F, Deblitz C, Golla B, Gömann H, Haenel H-D, Kleinhanß W, Kreins P, Ledebur O von, Osterburg B, Pelikan J, Röder N, Rösemann C, Salamon P, Sanders J, Witte T de (2014) Thünen-Baseline 2013-2023: Agrarökonomische Projektionen für Deutschland. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 112 p, Thünen Rep 19, DOI:10.3220/REP_19_2014pdf document
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2013Braunmiller K, Köchy M (2013) Background information on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways for use in MACSUR case studies [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 2(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 14.11.2013]
2013Köchy M, Banse M (2013) Capacity building and workshop coordination in MACSUR [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 1(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 13.11.2013]
2013Krome C, Jauncey K, Focken U (2013) Comparison of photometric methods for determination of phytate in Jatropha carcass kernel meal (JKM). Proc Soc Nutr Physiol 22:62
2013Manderscheid R, Weigel H-J (2013) Das Braunschweiger FACE-Experiment. Promet 38(1-2):20-31
2013Bellocchi G, Ma S, Köchy M, Braunmiller K (2013) Datasets classification and criteria for data requirements [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 2(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Köchy M (2013) FACCE MACSUR Kickoff-Meeting [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 1(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Köchy M, Banse M (2013) Final products [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 1(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Köchy M (2013) Hub website and administrative tasks [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 1(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Bellocchi G, Ma S, Köchy M, Braunmiller K (2013) Identified grassland-livestock production systems and related models [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 2(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Henseler M, Piot-Lepetit I, Ferrari E, Gonzalez Mellado AA, Banse M, Grethe H, Parisi C, Helaine S (2013) On the asynchronous approvals of GM crops: Potential market impacts of a trade disruption of EU soy imports. Food Policy 41:166-176, DOI:10.1016/j.foodpol.2013.05.005
2013Ohm M (2013) Phosphor - Wichtig wie Wasser, endlich wie Öl. Agrar Info Agrarkoordination(189):1-4
2013Köchy M (2013) Strategy for the dissemination of outputs at national, EU, and global levels [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 1(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2013Krome C, Jauncey K, Focken U (2013) Testing two different phytases in a Jatrophas curcas kernel meal based diet for Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. In: Proceedings / 10th International Symposium on Tilapia in Agriculture : Oct 6-10,2013, Jerusalem, Israel. pp 1-10
2013Köchy M, Zimmermann A (2013) Workshop on regional pilot studies : 5-7 June 2013, Braunschweig [online]. FACCE MACSUR Rep 2(1), zu finden in <> [zitiert am 12.11.2013]
2012Erbs M, Manderscheid R, Weigel H-J (2012) A combined rain shelter and free-air CO2 enrichment system to study climate change impacts on plants in the field. Methods Ecol Evol 3(1):81-88, DOI:10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00143.x
2012Burrell AM, Ferrari E, Gonzalez Mellado AA, Michalek J (2012) EU market access for agricultural products in the Doha Development Round: a sensitive issue : paper prepared for presentation at the International Association of Agricultural Economics (IAAE) 2012 Triennial Conference, Foz do Iguaco. Brazil 18-24 August 2012. IAAE, 18 p
2012Poppenborg P, Schröder J-M, Appuhn M (2012) Evaluating the economic potential of tree-based land uses to alleviate rural poverty in the Ashanti region, Ghana. Forests Trees Livelihoods 21(3):207-220, DOI:10.1080/14728028.2012.732823
2012Kuhlgatz C, Abdulai A (2012) Food aid and malnutrition in developing countries: evidence from global food aid allocation. J Dev Stud 48(12):1765-1783, doi:10.1080/00220388.2012.723126
2012Manderscheid R, Ewert F, Kage H, Müller J, Siebert S, Weigel H-J (2012) Integrierte Multiskalenmodelle: ein neuer systemübergreifender Ansatz bei Kulturpflanzen zur Anwendung in der Biomasse- und Klimafolgenforschung auf der Grundlage innovativer Experimente. Mitt Gesellsch Pflanzenbauwiss 24:277-278
2012Krome C, Jauncey K, Focken U (2012) Jatropha curcas Kernel Meal as a protein source in aquaculture diets. In: Tropentag 2012 : Resilience of agricultural systems against crises. Göttingen: Cuvillier, p 1
2011Deblitz C, Kristedi T, Hadi PU, Triastono J, Puspadi K, Nasrullah (2011) Final report Benchmarking the beef supply chain in eastern Indonesia [online]. Canberra, Australia: ACIAR, 96 p, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 15.08.2016]
2011Abdulai A, Kuhlgatz C (2011) Food security policy in developing countries. In: Lusk JL, Roosen J, Shogren JF (eds) The Oxford handbook of the economics of food consumption and policy. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, pp 344-369
2011Burrell AM, Ferrari E, Gonzalez Mellado AA, Himics M, Michalek J, Shrestha S, Doorslaer B van (2011) Potential EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement: Impact Assessment : Volume 1: Main results. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 136 p, JRC Sci Techn Rep, doi:10.2791/66155
2011Gonzalez Mellado AA, M'barek R, Nii-Naate Z, Goncalves N, Spinoglio M (2011) The importance of non-tariff measures for African agricultural and food trade to the EU : evidence from selected countries. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 90 p, JRC Sci Techn Rep, doi:10.2791/69743
2011Junker F, Schütz K (2011) When poverty reduction and market access go hand in hand : how Brazilian agricultural policy is promoting familiy farms. Rural(4):36-40
2010Rahmann G, Oppermann R (2010) "Feed less Food" als eine Möglichkeit, die zunehmende Weltbevölkerung zu ernähren. Landbauforsch SH 341:75-84pdf document
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2010Erbs M, Manderscheid R, Jansen G, Seddig S, Pacholski A, Weigel H-J (2010) Effects of free-air CO2 enrichment and nitrogen supply on grain quality parameters and elemental composition of wheat and barley grown in a crop rotation. Agric Ecosyst Environ 136(1-2):59-68, DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2009.11.009
2010Kuhlgatz C, Abdulai A, Barrett CB (2010) Food aid allocation policies: coordination and responsiveness to recipient country needs. Agric Econ 41(3-4):319-327, doi:10.1111/j.1574-0862.2010.00448.x
2010Gonzalez Mellado AA, Helaine S, Rau ML, Tothova M (2010) Non-tariff measures affecting agro-food trade between the EU and Africa : summary of a workshop. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 86 p, EUR Sci Techn Res Ser
2008Gonzalez Mellado AA (2008) Free trade agreements and household in Mexico - a comprehensive welfare analysis. In: [Proceedings of the] Regional Meeting on Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Modeling in Latin America, Alajuela, Costa Rica, November 24th - 25th, 2008.
2008Gonzalez Mellado AA (2008) Regional input-output tables : Mexico. In: The GTAP 7 data base. West Lafayette: Center for Global Trade Analysis, Purdue Univ

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