Dramatic changes needed in global food systems to address nutrition disparity, poverty: IFAD

What is the news? 

Recently, United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) published report  “Transforming Food Systems for Rural Prosperity”.

As per the report, our global food system need revolution. Transforming global food systems to become more inclusive, fair and sustainable is a challenging task. But, with concrete actions taken by the policymakers, this is possible. 

What are the other findings of the report? 

First, we need government investment in rural farms and local small- and medium-size enterprises. They support activities after the farm gate, such as storing, processing, marketing and food distribution.  

Second, small-scale family farmers are the foundation of food supply across all low- and middle-income countries. They play a critical role in reducing rural poverty and ensuring national food and nutrition security. 

Third, we need productive, economically viable and environmentally sustainable small-scale family farming. 

Fourth, small-scale agriculture is a vital source of national and global food.  They are also the source of the livelihood for majority of the people in rural areas. 

Fifth, we need to make food markets accessible to villagers.  

Sixth, food systems are responsible for 37% of greenhouse gas emissions and are also highly vulnerable to a changing climate. 

What are the recommendations of the report? 

First, reward farmers for ecosystem services such as maintaining healthy soil and regulating pests and incentives for nature-based practices and local, healthy diet. 

Second, we need innovation in nature-based solutions, agro-ecology and affordable digital technologies to boost production of rural small-scale farmers. The measures will enable the cultivators to be climate-resilient employing low-carbon and sustainable techniques.

Third, developing and focussing on pricing systems that reflect the full and true cost of production. 

Fourth, shifting food systems towards circular resource use for sustainability and resilience.

Source: This post is based on the article “Dramatic changes needed in global food systems to address nutrition disparity, poverty: IFAD ” published in the Down to Earth on 21st September 2021. 

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