NZ just 11th on Global Food Security Index

New Zealand is dragged down by ranking 18th for quality and safety – and 16th for affordability. However, it is seventh on availability.

New Zealand sits at just 11th on the Global Food Security Index, dragged down by ranking 18th for quality and safety – and 16th for affordability.

However, it is seventh on the third criteria, availability.

The index found that the US, Denmark, Norway and France led the world in food security, thanks to ample supplies, high incomes, low costs for food relative to other expenditure and significant research and development concentrated on food production.

People in the US and other advanced nations consume an average of 1200 calories a day more than those in low-income countries, but even in these wealthy nations food supplies lack enough micro-nutrients.

The index ranks and measures food security in 105 countries by looking at such things as food affordability, availability, nutritional quality and safety.

The least secure nations were largely found in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria and Mozambique.

The United Nations has said that by 2030, the world will need at least 50% more food to feed a growing population.

The index was commissioned by DuPont and compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

While the average individual needs 2300 calories a day to live a healthy and active life, in wealthy nations there is enough food for each person to eat 1100 calories above that benchmark.

In low-income countries, national food supplies fall, on average, 100 calories short.

The index also indicated that China experienced the least volatility of agricultural production during the last 20 years.