Business-as-usual not an option with global food security in jeopardy: UN

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UNITED NATIONS, Feb 22 (APP): Warning that diminishing natural resources and a changing climate have put humankind’s future ability to feed itself “in jeopardy,” the United Nations underlined Wednesday that while the planet still has the potential to produce enough food, “major transformations” are needed to make production sustainable and to ensure that all of humanity benefits.
In The Future of Food and Agriculture: Trends and Challenges report, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights that while “very real and significant” progress in reducing hunger has been achieved over the past 30 years, these have often come at a heavy cost to nature.
“Almost half of the forests that once covered the Earth are now gone. Groundwater sources are being depleted rapidly. Biodiversity has been deeply eroded,” the report noted.
“[As a result,] planetary boundaries may well be surpassed, if current trends continue,” FAO Director-General Jos Graziano da Silva said, while underlining the gravity of the situation.
With global population estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, world-wide demand for agricultural products could be pushed by as much as 50 per cent above current levels, intensifying pressures on already-strained natural resources.
At the same time, the report argues, greater numbers of people will be eating fewer cereals and larger amounts of meat, fruits, vegetables and processed food a result of an ongoing global dietary transition that will further add to those pressures, driving more deforestation, land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.
According to FAO, without a push to invest in and reorganizing food systems, far too many people will remain hungry in 2030, the year by which the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to eradicate chronic food insecurity and malnutrition.
“Without additional efforts to promote pro-poor development, reduce inequalities and protect vulnerable people, more than 600 million people would still be undernourished in 2030, the report noted.