Demographic Change, the IMPACT Model, and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

01 Feb 2012


In this paper, the implications of demographic processes for future changes in the demand and access to food are evaluated. Given the fact that population growth is a major influence on the consumption and availability of food, particular attention is given to the ways in which sub-Saharan Africa’s exceptionally high growth rates are likely to affect prospects for achieving food security.


Furthermore, the chapter discusses the extent to which the impacts of growth-induced changes in population composition will mediate the influence of population growth on food security among economically vulnerable populations. In what ways, for example, will changes in Africa’s population living in poverty affect the dynamics of food security over the next four decades? Moreover, how will the changing size of Africa’s child population affect children’s exposure to the risks of malnutrition? Several studies have used demographic projections to provide empirical descriptions of the ways in which food trends are likely to be affected by population growth.


A recent study, using the International Model for Policy Analysis of Agricultural Commodities and Trade (IMPACT), employs population growth projections to assess trends in various indicators of food insecurity. According to this model, high population growth rates will have the most severe impacts on caloric availability, malnutrition, and overall food security in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

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