A UK government study into food security has called for urgent action to prevent global hunger.

The future of food and farming report, released today (24 January), said that the growing world population, increasing wealth, competition for land and climate change constitute a “major threat” that requires a “strategic reappraisal of how the world is fed”.

The report, commissioned by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, called for “decisive action” to create affordable and stable food supplies, while ending hunger, managing biodiversity and ecosystem services as well as the contribution of the food system to the mitigation of climate change.

The report is calling for the most resource-intensive types of food to be curbed and that waste is minimised in food production.

It emphasises changes to farming to ensure that increasing yields does not come at the expense of sustainability. The report is also looking to reduce subsidies and trade barriers that disadvantage low-income countries, as well as providing incentives to the agricultural sector to address malnutrition and gender equalities.

It seeks policy makers to take a holistic approach to food chain, as the “potential threats are so great” that they “cannot be met by making changes piecemeal” to parts of the food system.

The report also seeks to “maximise the benefits of globalisation” and avoid export bans at times of “food stress”.

It added that 925m people suffer from hunger, and “perhaps a further billion” lack sufficient micronutrients, making it “imperative that the need for rapid action is realised by all concerned”, especially considering that those suffering, or at risk from hunger usually have the “least influence on decision-making in the food system.