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  • 10 December, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

FAO’s Report on The Future of Food and Agriculture

FAO’s Report on The Future of Food and Agriculture

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) new report, The Future of Food and Agriculture — Drivers and Triggers for Transformation, if agrifood systems remain unchanged, the world will face persistent food insecurity.
  • The purpose of this report is to stimulate strategic thinking and action to transform agrifood systems toward a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future.

What are the Report's Findings?

  • Agrifood System Drivers: There are 18 interconnected socioeconomic and environmental forces known as drivers that interact and shape the various activities that occur within agrifood systems, such as farming, food processing, and food consumption.
  • Poverty and inequalities, geopolitical instability, scarcity, and resource degradation, and climate change are some of the key drivers, and how they are addressed and managed will determine the future of food.

Food Insecurity Concerns:

  • If agrifood systems remain unchanged, the world will face persistent food insecurity, depleting resources, and unsustainable economic growth in the future.
  • The world is "terribly off track" in terms of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which include agrifood targets.
  • Many of the SDGs are off track and will only be achieved if agrifood systems are properly transformed to withstand ongoing global adversity that undermines food security and nutrition due to growing structural and regional inequalities.
  • By 2050, the world will have 10 billion people to feed, posing an unprecedented challenge if significant efforts are not made to reverse current trends.

Future Prospects:

  • There will be four future scenarios for agrifood systems, each with a different impact on food security, nutrition, and overall sustainability.
  • More of the same, which entails continuing to muddle along by reacting to events and crises.
  • A modified future in which some progress toward sustainable agrifood systems occurs at a slow and uncertain pace.
  • The race to the bottom depicts a world in disarray in its worst form.
  • Trading off for sustainability, in which short-term GDP growth is exchanged for inclusiveness, resilience, and sustainability of agrifood, socioeconomic, and environmental systems.

What are the recommendations?

  • Decision-makers must look beyond immediate needs. A lack of vision, piecemeal approaches, and quick fixes will cost everyone dearly.
  • There is an urgent need to alter course in order to create a more sustainable and resilient future for agrifood systems.

There is a need to work on the following key "triggers of transformation":

  • Better governance.
  • Customers who are critical and well-informed.
  • Improved income and wealth distribution
  • Innovative technologies and methods.
  • A comprehensive transformation, on the other hand, will come at a cost and will necessitate a trade-off of contrasting objectives that governments, policymakers, and consumers must address and balance while dealing with resistance to the paradigm shift.

About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)?

  • FAO is a United Nations specialized agency that leads international efforts to end hunger.
  • Every year on October 16th, the world celebrates World Food Day. The day commemorates the anniversary of the FAO's founding in 1945.
  • It is one of the United Nations food aid organizations based in Rome (Italy). The World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are its sister organizations.

Initiatives Launched:

  • Agricultural Heritage Systems of Global Importance (GIAHS).
  • Monitors the status of Desert Locusts all over the world.
  • The Codex Alimentarius Commission, or CAC, is in charge of overseeing the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
  • The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the FAO in 2001.

Flagship Publications:

  • The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA).
  • The State of the World's Forests (SOFO).
  • The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI).
  • The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA).
  • The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO).

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