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Future of Food

Background

Malnutrition in all its forms continues to be one of the greatest challenges faced by our generation.

While undernutrition persists in some countries, we are witnessing an unprecedented rise in obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries. There is a global call to transform our current food systems to provide the healthy diets needed for optimal health and wellbeing, address issues of inequality and inequity and put a halt to the degradation of natural resources.

2030: the challenges we will face

How to provide nutritious diets for optimal health that can be sustained for generations within planetary boundaries is a question that has high priority for policy-makers and the research community.

This is imminent considering the constraints that the global food system is facing regarding a rapidly increasing world population, rapid urbanization, changing diets, climate change and protracted crises in many parts of the world. According to recent research, the acceleration of the dietary transition in low- and middle-income countries is expected to increase the impact of the food system on the environment, if no major mitigation measures are taken.

There is an urgent need to apply effective governance to food systems that go beyond national boundaries; governance that spans all levels from global to local encompassing informal as well as formal organizations. Political commitment, leadership, accountability and policy coherence are essential elements for effective governance, in addition to data, knowledge and capacity development to take effective action.

 

 

FAO’s contribution to the discourse on the future of food

FAO, an intergovernmental organization with the vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition, is deeply engaged in the discourse around the future of food and food systems.

The FAO publication The Future of Food and Agriculture (2018) cautions that “business as usual” is no longer an option if we are to meet the targets set by the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Future food and agriculture must move towards the path of sustainability- achieving more with less and producing safe and nutritious food for all, while limiting the use of natural resources.