FAO Urges World Governments to Create More Resillient Agriculture System

Wednesday, 24-November-2021 19:00

The FAO logo
Image : Antara/Reuters
The FAO logo

ROME, NETRALNEWS.COM - Governments need to make their agri-food systems more connected, diverse and resilient to sudden shocks, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in a major report on Tuesday (11/23/2021).

Revealed at a virtual conference at the FAO headquarters in Rome, the report "The State of Food and Agriculture 2021" (SOFA) said about three billion people could not afford healthy food.

A further one billion people would be in a similar situation if a sudden shock cut their income by a third, the FAO estimates.

Furthermore, if the critical transport network is disrupted, the cost of food will increase by up to 845 million people.

"Since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, several key drivers have driven the world off course to end world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030," the FAO report emphasized in its introduction.

This goal has now become even more challenging due to the pandemic and associated restrictions, which have created major difficulties for the food system.

The agri-food system, meaning the entire chain of production, storage, transportation, distribution, and consumption, produces 11 billion tonnes of food each year, providing direct and indirect employment for billions of people.

However, the report underscores: "Food systems will not be a powerful force contributing to ending hunger and malnutrition in all its forms worldwide, unless they are transformed by strengthened resilience to the key drivers identified ... and incentivized to provide food." affordable, sustainable and inclusive health."

Key drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition include conflict, extreme climate events and economic downturn -- with pandemics being an additional factor in 2020.

"The pandemic highlights the resilience and weakness of our agri-food system," FAO Director General Qu Dongyu said at an online conference.

According to the report's findings, while low-income countries are at greatest risk from sudden shocks, middle-income countries also face the same threat.

Actions suggested by FAO include urging governments to make resilience in their agri-food systems "a strategic part of their response to ongoing and future challenges."

Diversification of input sources, production, markets and supply chains will be one of the key steps in this strategy.

Diversity in the agri-food chain can also be increased by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, consortia and clusters, advises FAO.

Meanwhile, another key factor is improving the connectivity of the agri-food network to better address possible disruptions to transportation routes, as reported by Antara.

Reporter : turkhan
Editor : turkhan