Special Issue "Food Security"


A special issue of Challenges (ISSN 2078-1547).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michael Winter
Department of Politics, College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK
Website: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/politics/staff/winter/
Interests: rural policy analysis and governance with a specific focus on regionalism; sustainable agro-food systems and food security; climate change and rural land use; the historical and contemporary sociology of west country agriculture; farmer environmental attitudes and decision-making, particularly in the context of diffuse pollution and water quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global food security challenge is well recognised in relevant policy and science communities. Many international reports and reviews have been published establishing the broad parameters of the challenge, particularly following the 2008 food price spikes. This special issue will focus on responses to the challenge. How have science priorities evolved and shifted in response, and how much progress has been made? What are the key emerging technologies to address food production and sustainability issues? What have been the economic, social and policy responses? The special issue is particularly seeking papers that will report on research designed to tackle any of the following aspects of the challenge:

• Natural resources — managing and enhancing soils, water and ecosystems to improve global food security sustainably.
• Technology — advances in production efficiency, including precision farming, the application of genomics, and the development of technologies and farming systems suitable for small holding agriculture.
• Disease — developments in plant pathology and biosecurity.
• Waste — technical and social solutions to reducing waste from field to fork.
• Science policy — is funding for agricultural R&D adequate and well directed, what is are the respective roles for public and private research, what are the emerging research priorities?
• Agro-food systems — are global (and local) systems of production and distribution fit for purpose? Is the nutrition transition a ‘given’ or should responding to the food security challenge involve changing consumer trends?

Prof. Dr. Michael Winter
Guest Editor



Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Challenges is an international peer-reviewed Open Access biannual journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • food security
  • sustainable intensification
  • agricultural technology
  • plant pathology
  • agro-food systems
  • food waste
  • nutrition transition

Published Papers (1 paper)

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p. 43-74
Challenges 2014, 5(1), 43-74; doi:10.3390/challe5010043
Received: 9 September 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 14 December 2013 / Published: 13 February 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of paper: Article
Achieving Food Security by Adapting to Climate Change in Africa: A Critical Review
Authors: Bruce McCarl 1, Ruth Aisabokhae 1, and Mark Musumba 2
1. Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, TAMU 2124, College Station, TX 77843, USA
2. Agriculture and Food Security Center, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, 10964 NY, USA
Climate change has an impact on agricultural productivity and food security and will affect the livelihoods of the poor. Food insecurity according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is said to exist “when people lack access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food, and therefore are not consuming enough for an active and healthy life”, with different manifestations such as the unavailability of food, inadequate purchasing power, or inappropriate utilization at household levels. Recent estimates show that there will be more than 9 billion people in the world by 2050, and food production must increase by 70% in order to feed the growing population. Subsistence agriculture is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity because of rural households’ dependence on agricultural production for consumption, low yield productivity per hectare, volatility of market prices, and climate conditions. Improvement in food security also implies that there is need to also diversify productivity in the long run to not only look at quantity but quality which will alter diets that are changing among the rich in developing worlds while the poor look for food to meet the minimal per capita dietary nutritional need. This is a challenge in subsistence agriculture where small plot size, diverse agro-ecological zones and the need for sustainable livelihoods is an issue. In this paper we will review the implication of climate change, agricultural markets for both input and agricultural production and the nutritional needs to cater for the growing population with a focus on subsistence agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. With the projected changes in climate and growing seasons, adaptation measures are highly relevant strategies.

Last update: 18 April 2013

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