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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Political Economy of Hunger and Food Supply

Agricultural markets and the Great Depression: lessons from the past

07 May 2014

Seventy five years ago, the publication of John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath shocked the world with its description of starvation in the midst of plenty. PhD candidate Rasheed Saleuddin is re-evaluating established views of the causes of the Great Depression and argues that there are lessons to be learned today. 

New evidence of suicide epidemic among India’s ‘marginalised’ farmers

17 Apr 2014

Latest statistical research finds strong causal links between areas with the most suicides and areas where impoverished farmers are trying to grow crops that suffer from wild price fluctuations due to India’s relatively recent shift to free market economics.

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How do smallholder farmers fit into the big picture of world food production?

22 Jan 2013

Worldwide 500 million smallholder farmers support a total of 2 billion people. A debate taking place in London next Monday (28 January) will put these producers at the centre of a discussion about ways to develop an agricultural model that will sustainably feed a growing population.

Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, on the Kenya-Somalia border. The Horn of Africa frequently experiences severe drought and hundreds of thousands of people have trekked to Dadaab seeking food, water, shelter and safety.

Feeding seven billion

21 Nov 2012

With the world’s population already estimated to be over seven billion and rising fast, the challenge of how to produce enough food has never been more pressing. Three public debates will give people the chance to hear from and question politicians, researchers and journalists on the issues at stake.


Rice sacks


Give and take: the changing landscape of world aid

05 Oct 2012

A book by Cambridge University geographer Dr Emma Mawdsley provides a major analysis of the ways in which the ‘rising powers’ of the BRICS and others are changing the development landscape.


Crops Growing


Unlocking the agricultural economics of the 19th century

03 Oct 2012

The Corn Returns – market data from the 19th century and beyond – represent a valuable resource for economic historians looking at the emergence of modern agricultural markets. A project to make these records digitally available will help solve some of the big questions about the economics of the age.



Research, policy, practice: conservation in the round

07 Feb 2012

Conservation scientists working in partnership with practitioners and policy makers are building practical tools for real-world conservation.

Irish tenants are evicted and their homes torn down under the supervision of troops


Whose fault is famine? What the world failed to learn from 1840s Ireland

19 Jul 2011

A new book by a Cambridge University academic revisits one of the worst famines in recorded history. The Irish Famine of the 1840s had terrible consequences: 1 million people died and several million left Ireland. Today the world is watching as millions in Africa face a similar fate: starvation in the midst of plenty. Dr David Nally’s analysis of what happened in his native Ireland less than two centuries ago reveals some shocking parallels with what is happening in Africa.


Household takes refuge from the rain in central Malawi


Famine’s changing face

01 Jan 2010

Dr Zoltán Tiba’s research on why famines happen is posing questions about the root causes and possible long-term interventions.

People specializing in this area

  • Drawing lessons from historical analyses of  famine
  • Role of political structures in production & distribution of food
  • Archaeological & anthropological evidence for innovation