Approaches to Food Security in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and Nigeria: Lessons for Developing Countries

Food security has re-emerged as one of the central issues on the global agenda since the 2008 food, fuel, and financial crisis. After decades of neglect, the crisis has refocused attention of national governments and international organizations on investments in agriculture, food, and nutritional security. This paper provides a synthesis of the experiences of six countries (Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and Nigeria) in enhancing food security of their population. Approximately 46 per cent of the undernourished people in the world live in these six countries, which together account for 43 per cent of world’s population. The paper underscores the diversity in country experiences in terms of the timing, pace, and forms of agricultural reforms as well as the major public policies and programmes adopted for improving social and economic access to food and nutrition and draws lessons for other countries. Brazil and China stand out as clear leaders in increasing availability, access, and utilization of food.