Agriculture must transform to feed more crowded planet, says UN
The message is “The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must, too.”
“As the global population expands, we will need to satisfy an increasing demand for food,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message commemorating the Day.
“Yet, around the world, record-breaking temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent and severe droughts and floods caused by climate change are already affecting ecosystems, agriculture and society's ability to produce the food we need,” he added.
Mr. Ban pointed out that the most vulnerable people are world's poorest, 70 percent of whom depend on subsistence farming, fishing or pastoralism for income and food.
“Without concerted action, millions more people could fall into poverty and hunger, threatening to reverse hard-won gains and placing in jeopardy our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he emphasized.
According to the UN chief, agriculture and food systems must become more resilient, productive, inclusive and sustainable.
“To bolster food security in a changing climate,” he continued “countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more in rural development.”
The Secretary-General explained that targeted investments in those sectors would build resilience and increase the incomes and productivity of small farmers – lifting millions from poverty.
“They will help to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and safeguard the health and well-being of ecosystems and all people who depend on them, underscored Mr. Ban. ■