- The new report was released even as 4.35 million people in Kenya are going to bed on an empty stomach.
- Counties reeling from the effects of drought include Kwale, Lamu, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Samburu and West Pokot.
A new report has identified poverty, inequalities, geopolitical instability, degradation of resources and climate change as some of the key drivers of food insecurity.
The report, released by Food and Agriculture Organization, is titled 'The Future of Food and Agriculture – Drivers and triggers for transformation, analyses current and emerging drivers of agrifood systems and their possible future trends'.
The report warns that the world’s ability to nourish its burgeoning population is under threat and, without broader socioeconomic and environmental change, sustainable agrifood systems will be impossible to achieve.
The new report was released even as 4.35 million people in Kenya are going to bed on an empty stomach.
Counties reeling from the effects of drought include Kwale, Lamu, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Turkana, Samburu and West Pokot.
Others are Baringo, Kajiado, Narok, Laikipia, Nyeri, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Makueni, Kitui, Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera.
The report identifies the issues at stake and the threats and problems that have an impact on future food consumption and agrifood production.
It urges decision-makers to think beyond short-term needs, warning that a lack of vision, piecemeal approaches and ‘quick fixes’ will come at a high cost for everyone.
The report identifies key ‘triggers’ for agrifood systems transformation that can help achieve food security, nutrition, natural resource preservation, ecosystems restoration and climate change mitigation.
Trends such as increasing population and urbanisation, macroeconomic instability, poverty and inequalities, geopolitical tensions and conflicts, fiercer competition over natural resources and climate change are wreaking havoc in socioeconomic systems and damaging environmental systems, the report says.
“Many of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)are not on track and will only be achieved if agri-food systems are transformed properly to withstand ongoing global adversity that undermines food security and nutrition due to growing structural inequalities and also regional inequalities,” Fao director-general Qu Dongyu said at the launch.
The report says if agrifood systems remain on their current paths, the evidence points to a future characterised by persistent food insecurity, degrading resources and unsustainable economic growth.
To increase the chances of creating a more sustainable and resilient future for agrifood systems, the report underscores the urgent need to change course.
To achieve this, it proposes four key “triggers of transformation” – improved governance, critical and informed consumers, better income and wealth distribution and innovative technologies and approaches.
“Very few low- and middle-income countries, perhaps none, will have the possibility of achieving hegemonic power and the status of empires that many high-income countries made use of to benefit their well-being and welfare," the report reads.
"Future global development patterns depend on the resolution of key questions: institutions providing solutions for sharing the ‘global commons’; the distribution of political power and wealth; and the resolution of the extensive inequalities present in today’s economies.”
The report proposes that, in a scenario where the world opts for a more sustainable future, global challenges will be tackled by “a more effective participatory and novel, multilevel governance”, where governments, consumers, businesses and academia interact with different functions but overall converging objectives.
“To ensure access to sufficient and nutritious food, decent jobs, income opportunities, and environmental services, among others, requires us to be smarter in identifying the triggers needed to accelerate transformative processes,” Qu said.
By 2050, there will be 10 billion people in the world to feed and this will be an unprecedented challenge if significant attempts are not made to reverse current trends.
The report points out that the world is ‘tremendously off track' to meet the SDGs, including agri-food targets.