Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

16 October 2021

World Food Day

What can academia do ?

Knowledge, innovation and capacity building are the path to change. Research and academic institutions have the tools to support decision makers in the world’s agri-food systems. They need to strengthen data collection, analyses and monitoring at national level. By capturing, harmonizing and breaking down data across all aspects of food systems, and fostering knowledge sharing for all, research and academia can be more inclusive.

Higher education and research institutions need to generate science and evidence-based knowledge that is inclusive. Inclusive knowledge embraces the new and the old - indigenous, traditional and local knowledge together with new innovations. It should demonstrate strategies to reduce climate change, adapt to it and make sustainable food systems are more resilient. Inclusive knowledge is better equipped to manage crises: it can enable healthy diets with a specific focus on potential interventions across the board.

Higher education and research institutions should aim to improve government policy and decision making processes. They can do this by sharing knowledge on agri-food systems and ways to transform them at different stages. They also need to actively engage in multi-stakeholder processes and dialogues. Academia and research institutions have been collaborating with FAO to develop joint actions to address global emergencies affecting food and nutrition security such as COVID-19.

Universities, schools, technical and vocational education and training centres as well as teaching schools should institute nutrition education for students including food technology, health and agriculture. This knowledge equips young people to bring about change.

Work with FAO and other partners. Build a future where everyone has access to a sustainable healthy diet. Support efforts by governments to implement the VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES ON FOOD SYSTEMS AND NUTRITIONoffered by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This is the most inclusive international platform – hosted and co-funded by FAO – where stakeholders work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.