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Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production

The most widely recognized function of soil is its support for food production. It is the foundation for agriculture and the medium in which nearly all food-producing plants grow. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of our food is directly or indirectly produced on our soils. Healthy soils supply the essential nutrients, water, oxygen and root support that our food-producing plants need to grow and flourish. Soils also serve as a buffer to protect delicate plant roots from drastic fluctuations in temperature.

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Improving food safety and quality along the chain to protect public health, support fair food trade and contribute to food security and economic development

Ensuring food safety is a public health priority, and an essential step to achieving food security. Effective food safety and quality management systems are key not only to safeguarding the health and well-being of people but also to fostering economic development and improving livelihoods by promoting access to domestic, regional and international markets

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The contribution of insects to food security, livelihoods and the environment

Entomophagy is the consumption of insects by humans. Entomophagy is practised in many countries around the world but predominantly in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Insects supplement the diets of approximately 2 billion people and have always been a part of human diets. However, it is only recently
that entomophagy has captured the attention of the media, research institutions, chefs and other members of the food industry, legislators and agencies dealing with food and feed. The Edible Insects Programme at FAO also examines the potential of arachnids (e.g. spiders and scorpions) for food and feed, although by definition these are not insects.

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The State of Food and Agriculture 2014

More than 500 million family farms manage the majority of the world's agricultural land and produce most of the world's food. We need family farms to ensure global food security, to care for and protect the natural environment and to end poverty, undernourishment and malnutrition. Goals can be thoroughly achieved if public policies support family farms to become more productive and sustainable; in other words policies must support family farms to innovate within a system that recognizes their diversity and the complexity of the challenges faced.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2014: Innovation in family farming analyses family farms and the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvements in rural livelihoods.