See all specials

Can science feed the world?

More than one billion people go hungry today, and the vast majority of them are in low-income countries. Increasing yield sustainably — using less water, fertilizers and pesticides — is going to be a crucial part of the solution. Nature asks what role science has to play in securing food for the future.


  • How to feed a hungry world

    Producing enough food for the world's population in 2050 will be easy. But doing it at an acceptable cost to the planet will depend on research into everything from high-tech seeds to low-tech farming practices.

    ( )

News Features

  • The growing problem

    World hunger remains a major problem, but not for the reasons many suspect. Nature analyses the trends and the challenges of feeding 9 billion by 2050.

    ( )

  • Inside the hothouses of industry

    Feeding the world is going to require the scientific and financial muscle of agricultural biotechnology companies. Natasha Gilbert asks whether they're up to the task.

    ( )

  • An underground revolution

    Plant breeders are turning their attention to roots to increase yields without causing environmental damage. Virginia Gewin unearths some promising subterranean strategies.

    ( )

  • The global farm

    With its plentiful sun, water and land, Brazil is quickly surpassing other countries in food production and exports. But can it continue to make agricultural gains without destroying the Amazon?

    ( )


  • Monitoring the world's agriculture

    To feed the world without further damaging the planet, Jeffrey Sachs and 24 food-system experts call for a global data collection and dissemination network to track the myriad impacts of different farming practices.

  • Regulation must be revolutionized

    Unjustified and impractical legal requirements are stopping genetically engineered crops from saving millions from starvation and malnutrition, says Ingo Potrykus.

Audio & Video

Elsewhere in Nature

  • The food crisis isn't over

    Although the credit crunch has lowered the price of food, a global recession now raises the hunger pains of the most vulnerable. The stage is set for the next international food crisis, says Joachim von Braun.

    ( )

  • Five crop researchers who could change the world

    The current crisis in worldwide food prices reinforces the need for more productive agriculture. Emma Marris meets five ambitious scientists determined to stop the world from going hungry.

    ( )

  • Agriculture: Is China ready for GM rice?

    In an effort to avoid a food crisis as the population grows, China is putting its weight behind genetically modified strains of the country's staple food crop. Jane Qiu explores the reasons for the unprecedented push.

    ( )

  • Special: Water Under Pressure

    As water is sucked up by demands for food and energy, and its distribution on the planet is changed by climate change, what can be done to ensure water availability for the future?

    ( )