In an era marked by volatility and uncertainty, the world prepares to feed a growing population with a declining resource base. Sustainably increasing production to levels required to ensure global nutritional security is one of today’s world greatest problems.
According to United Nations data, by 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion people, with growth and increased urbanization particularly pronounced in Asia and Africa. This demographic shift will directly affect consumption patterns, increasing demand for industrial food and value-added products. This growth comes at a time where substantial parts of the global population still experience food insecurity. With roughly 815 million people currently living under food insecurity, production must also increase to feed those that are already hungry. This food needs to be globally accessible and nutritious, with a particular focus to ensure healthy development early in life. UNICEF estimates that more than 150 million children experienced stunting in 2017, roughly 22 percent of children globally. The total number of chronically undernourished population in the world is estimated to have increased to 815 million (11% of
Without action, increased production of food will drive additional use of critical environmental resources (e.g., water, land, carbon, etc.). Today the agricultural sector, broadly defined, accounts for 69 percent of water use, 36 percent of land use, and 20-24 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Amidst global demographic growth and a changing global climate, it is imperative to turn the food value chain into a positive environmental actor that sustainably utilizes and restores natural resources. Climate change is already contributing to more frequent natural disasters that reduce food availability and generate price volatility. In order to continue feeding future generations, global food producers must broadly adopt sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate, adapt to and increase resilience to climate change. Many of these practices already exist and have demonstrated the potential to increase yield while decreasing the negative environmental impacts (e.g., soil conservation or carbon sequestration). In addition to
Alongside enhanced production, the global trade of food must function fluidly while minimizing waste to ensure food security. Global food trade has a critical role to play in feeding the world; by matching food supply to global demand, efficient markets ensure that food is accessible and properly priced across the world. Barriers to global food trade undermine gains from comparative advantage and discourage investment in food production and innovation. In addition to ensuring efficient markets across countries, food value chains must function more efficiently and reduce (or find alternative uses for) food that is lost or wasted. The UN estimates that
Based on this context, the task force working group has focused on five primary issues for the G20 leaders to address: eradicating malnutrition, undernourishment and obesity; ensuring environmental conservation and mitigating and adapting to climate change; fostering technology development and adoption; minimizing food loss and waste; and reducing barriers to global food trade.
In planning public policy to address malnutrition, it is essential to consider instances of public-private cooperation and dialogue.
G20 leaders should also develop policies, incentives
The B20 remains committed to a multilateral trading system that is open, non-discriminatory, and rules-based. However, advances are required to help achieve SDGs throughout global food value chains. Business