UN calls for changing policies, mindsets and business models to transform agrifood systems


Conflict, COVID-19, climate change and growing inequalities are converging to undermine food security worldwide says the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) Report 2022.

The second of the 17 UN SDGs is to ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.’

The United Nations (UN) Food Systems Coordination Hub last week convened a virtual dialogue between the Food Systems National Conveners and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), Qu Dongyu.

“We can turn the tide through the transformation to more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable agrifood systems,” Qu told representatives from around 100 countries.

Over 200 global participants came together to share their efforts and ideas in planning and implementing their national pathways for agrifood systems transformation to reduce hunger, poverty, and food loss and waste, protect biodiversity and tackle climate change.

“To achieve the ambitious, transformative changes required, we need to change policies, mindsets, and business models, and each of you must take the lead in this,” the FAO DG stated.

“Transforming agrifood systems is a unique opportunity to achieve results at scale, in line with national priorities, while addressing the impacts of the climate crisis.”

“Leveraging finance for agrifood systems transformations is one of the most catalytic actions needed for achieving the SDGs - if we get it right, our agrifood systems can be profitable, equitable, sustainable, healthy, and more resilient to shocks,” he explained, adding that it is also necessary to invest in science, innovation, and technology.

Finally, the FAO DG reminded participants that the effective implementation of National Pathways—the country’s plans for agrifood systems that are sustainable and equitable— can deliver urgent change to ensure progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals.

“National ownership and the leadership of the National Conveners are key to successful agrifood systems transformation,” Qu said, reiterating that the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub is ready to support and empower them.

Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO), Qu Dongyu

2023 presents an important turning point for the agriculture industry, working with government and agtech providers to transform food production via technology.

United Nations flag image courtesy of www.slon.pics at Freepik

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