Sustainable Development Goals Helpdesk

Overview > Agrifood Systems and the 2030 Agenda

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It provides  a vision for a world free of hunger and extreme poverty, with social justice and a healthy natural environment. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Agenda provide the blueprint to achieve this vision. 
 The 2030 Agenda expresses the collective determination of the UN Members to: 

  • end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment;
  • protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations;
  • ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature;
  • foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development;
  • mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.





Sustainable agrifood systems lie at the heart of the 2030 Agenda as they combine economic growth with social improvements and environmental protection to address many of the global challenges we face. Agrifood systems transformations contribute to all 17 SDGs to varying degrees and are fundamental for their ultimate achievement.


Study the SDG wheel to learn the importance of sustainable agrifood systems to all SDGs.

Ending poverty (SDG1) requires addressing social protection, land rights and resilience in rural areas, and is closely linked to ending hunger and improving food security (SDG2). Good health (SDG3) starts with nutritious and safe food. Good nutrition is essential to increase the number of children who can complete primary and secondary education (SDG4) and promoting equal access for women to both land and economic resources helps increase food production and bring long-term economic gains for rural communities (SDG5).  

Delivering more food with less and cleaner energy (SDG7), reducing food waste (SDG12), providing small-scale producers with access to innovative technologies (SDG9), and securing their tenure rights for farmland (SDG10) are essential elements of sustainable agrifood systems and achieving these Goals.  

Sustainable agrifood systems have the potential to address water scarcity (SDG6), respond to climate change (SDG13) and protect the worlds aquatic (SDG14) and terrestrial biodiversity (SDG15).  They would also ensure sustainable economic growth and decent employment in rural areas (SDG8), secure food supply at affordable prices in cities (SDG11) and contribute greatly to achieving peace through ending hunger (SDG16), achievable only in partnership with all food and agriculture actors (SDG17). 

FAO Office of Sustainable Development Goals

FAO has a dedicated Office of Sustainable Development Goals, which coordinates the Organization’s actions to accelerate the 2030 Agenda through the sustainable transformation of global agrifood systems. Read more about the work of the Office of Sustainable Development Goals here

With less than seven years to go, the world has fallen off track to meet the SDGs, and multiple crises have halted or reversed progress on many targets. Pursuing food systems transformations has therefore never been more critical. In fact, action towards more sustainable agrifood systems is a fundamental prerequisite to put the world back on course to achieve the 2030 Agenda. FAO, with its unparalleled knowledge and expertise for SDG-based agrifood systems transformations, is guiding, co-designing and steering such transformation at local, national, regional and global levels. 

As custodian of 21 SDG indicators and contributor to a further five, FAO monitors country-level progress and gathers data and statistics on targets relating to food, agriculture and natural resources under SDGs 1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 14 and 15. In addition, FAO is creating knowledge for accelerated SDG action through its many publications and data portals and enhancing countries ability to take action through the delivery of tools, trainings and partnerships, which can be explored here on the FAO SDGs Helpdesk. 

FAO’s work focuses on four strategic areas of transformation: Better Production; Better Nutrition; a Better Environment; and a Better Life, leaving no one behind. These Four Betters reflect and build on the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of agrifood systems and provide an operational blueprint to accelerate the SDGs, to make the 2030 Agenda a reality. 

UN Food Systems Coordination Hub

The central role of agrifood systems in delivering progress across all the SDGs was acknowledged in a dedicated UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021. The Summit was a turning point, unleashing ambitious new actions and innovative national plans to transform food systems and leverage these shifts for delivery across all SDGs. The Food Systems Coordination Hub, hosted by FAO, on behalf of the UN System, continues to drive these actions and national pathways. Find out more about the work of the Hub here.

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