The world urgently needs to promote the transformation of the agricultural and food system

It is “World Food Day” in 2021, and the world is at a critical moment. On the 15th, Qu Dongyu, director general of FAO, stressed in his signed article that global food security is facing severe challenges and there is an urgent need to promote the transformation of the agricultural and food system.

Qu Dongyu pointed out that covid-19 epidemic is still rampaging around the world, resulting in immeasurable serious losses and enormous difficulties. Global food security is also facing unprecedented challenges.

“However, an encouraging new momentum is poised for the organic crisis. We strive to promote in-depth changes in the mode of grain production, storage, circulation and consumption, meet the above challenges, and improve the relevant structure to further meet the needs,” he wrote in his article.

He pointed out that the UN food system summit held last month outlined the grand plan of promoting the transformation of the world’s agricultural and food system. The summit ended with the slogan of “back to Rome from New York”, that is, to return to the headquarters of FAO and its sister United Nations Food and agriculture agencies to implement various goals.

He said that at present, FAO has taken the lead in implementing and promoting the transformation work. For example, at the beginning of this month, a groundbreaking World Food Forum was successfully held in Rome, the capital of Italy, to stimulate the creativity and resilience of the young generation.

However, it is not only the responsibility of young people to establish a sound agricultural and food system. He said the epidemic has exposed the vulnerability of the world’s agricultural and food system. Even before the outbreak of the epidemic, hundreds of millions of people around the world were hungry, which increased to 811 million last year. At the same time, the world produces enough food to feed everyone.

In addition, 14 per cent of world food production was lost and 17 per cent was wasted. “In order to meet the world’s growing food demand, we need to overcome various challenges such as diseases and pests, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and conflict. At the same time, we should also reduce the adverse impact of the agricultural food system on the environment and climate,” Qu Dongyu said.

As the lead agency for food and agriculture in the United Nations system, FAO has developed a series of tools to promote the resolution of many such complex systemic issues.

He pointed out that FAO launched a new version of the 2022-2031 strategic framework for the next decade to clarify the practical actions to be carried out and the required input elements, so as to lay a solid foundation for achieving “better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life” and not let anyone fall behind.

FAO estimates that US $40 billion to US $50 billion per year will be needed for targeted interventions to eradicate hunger by 2030. Many low-cost and effective projects can help hundreds of millions of people further meet their food needs.

For example, targeted research and development, improving the level of agricultural technology, digital agricultural innovation and improving women’s literacy can significantly reduce hunger. But many other key factors are also indispensable, such as improving data, governance and related systems.

In addition, working hand in hand with the government and important partners is also the only magic weapon for success, “because our partners are well aware of their own national conditions and can adapt to local conditions to create a transformation road suitable for their own country.”

He said that all the much-needed changes could not be achieved by the efforts of scientists, government officials, or food producers and sellers alone.

“The first step of transformation can and must begin with ordinary consumers and everyone’s practical actions and choices. From choosing the type of food, to choosing the place of purchase, from the way of packaging, to whether to discard food, our daily consumption decisions affect the future of the agricultural food system and the world,” Qu Dongyu said.

“Each of us has the potential to become a food hero. Action creates the future. Start with you and me, start bit by bit, promote the transformation of the agricultural and food system, and help the world eradicate hunger, achieve healthy meals, prevent damage to the environment and eliminate waste,” he said.

Source: China News Network

Post time: Oct-20-2021