Greater innovation needed to fight climate change, poverty and hunger

FAO Director-General highlights solutions to global challenges at SDG2 event on the margins of COP25

13 December 2019, Madrid - FAO Director-General QU Dongyu  called for greater agricultural innovation to tackle the risks of climate change and reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There is a need for innovation not only in science but also in policies, in how we do business and the way we think, said the FAO chief at the opening of SDG 2 - Linking Technological Innovation and Climate Change Actions for a World Free of Hunger, Malnutrition and Poverty event on Thursday, on the margins of COP25.

The event was co-organized by FAO and the two other Rome-based UN agencies, the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

Qu highlighted the important role of farmers who are ultimately those who apply agricultural innovation, and therefore, should not be left behind when it comes to technology and innovation.

FAO believes that when applied to the food and agricultural sectors, innovation, technology and digitalization can strengthen climate change actions, increase food production and support everyone involved in the food value chain.

Innovative solutions - several of which FAO promotes through its work - are already making a difference. These include: precision and digital agriculture, enhanced early warning systems, remote sensing technologies, and climate neutral approaches.

For example, precision agriculture can make water use more efficient and improve the management of soil nutrients. Precision irrigation can reduce water use between eight % and 20 percent.

Empowering farmers and strengthening coordination, especially at country level, are crucial to responding to climate change challenges and reaching all SDGs, and it is time to scale up and speed up our efforts, concluded the FAO Director-General.

Photo: ©FAO/Veejay Villafranca
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