Ireland has been overtaken by Singapore as the most food secure country in the world. Last year, Ireland finished at the top of the Global Food Security Index for the first time.
The index, which is published by The Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks countries based on food affordability, availability, and quality as well as an adjustment for natural resources and resilience. This new adjustment assesses a countries exposure to the impacts of a changing climate.
The United States and the United Kingdom finished just behind Ireland in joint third position. It is the first year Singapore claimed the top spot. This was largely attributed to its status as a high-income economy where GDP per capita has risen nearly 30% since 2012 (when the index was first published).
The index found Ireland had 16 strengths when it came to food security. The country scored 100% for presence of food safety net programmes, access to financing for farmers and nutritional standards.
Food safety, food loss, sufficiency of supply and food consumption as a share of household expenditure were all ranked highly with Ireland scoring above 94%.
Strengths were ranked as any metric above 75%. Coming in just above the 75% threshold were corruption, volatility of agricultural production and political stability risk. Volatility was the only metric where Ireland was ranked below the average of all other countries.
Overall, 70% of countries included in the index recorded higher scores in 2018 with lower-middle- and low-income countries experienced the most substantial gains.
Venezuela experienced the largest decline of any country. Analysts said: “As the economic crisis in Venezuela continues, the country’s food security situation has become critical… demonstrating the significant impact that political and economic insecurity has on a country’s food security.”