Unsustainable agriculture can pollute water, air and soil; is a source of greenhouse gases, and destroys wildlife. And to top it all off, some farming practices have been linked to the emergence of zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19. Here's how we can change that.
Agriculture and Food
With our modern lifestyles adding more stress on natural resources and a population to feed that will grow to almost 10 billion by 2050, sustainable gastronomy is something we should all keep in mind as we source, cook and eat our food. Sustainable gastronomy means choosing and cooking food in a way that considers all it takes for food to get from fields to our plates, including how the food is grown and transported to what ingredients we choose and where we buy them from. FAO spoke to two chefs, who are also goodwill ambassadors for the organization.
The area surrounding the Yacuambi river basin located in the southern Ecuadorian province of Zamora-Chinchipe harbors some of the last remnants of primary forest between the Andes and the Amazon. A cooperative called APEOSAE (Small organic agricultural exporters of the Southern Ecuadorian Amazon) was born out of a desire to move from producers to entrepreneurs and to increase revenues and market access. It unites local farmers, many of whom are women and members of the indigenous Shuar and Saraguro Kichwa communities. They mainly cultivate organic coffee, cocoa and plantain. Jorge Kuji, an indigenous Shuar, is overlooking the drying process, considered the most important stage of coffee production since it affects the final quality of the product.
A group of seven men and five women, Kinna's passionate bee farmers are supported by the World Food Programme (WFP) — they are among more than 400,000 people in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid regions the organization empowers through livelihood activities such as fish-farming, and livestock and crop production. Since 2019, WFP has distributed over 9,000 beehives to farmers in 12 arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya in addition to honey harvesting suits, hive tools, centrifuge machines for extracting honey and refractometers for measuring the water content of honey.
Argan trees grow naturally in the semi-desert forest regions of southwestern Morocco; safeguard against desertification and climate change; are a symbol of adaptation and harmonious co-evolution between rural communities and their ecosystem; empower rural women by creating jobs in the argan and agri-tourism industry; contribute to the food security and nutrition of rural communities.
On World Bee Day, we celebrate the contribution that bees and other pollinators make to food security. Pollinators, such as bees, birds, and bats, contribute to 35 percent of the world’s total crop production, pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops worldwide. In this time of the pandemic, FAO is helping communities regain their livelihoods, while also supporting local biodiversity and restoring ecosystems. Learn more about World Bee Day, how we can build back better for bees and how you can BEE involved!
Waffles and Mochi deliver opening remarks at the Global Youth Summit Dialogue 2021 - Good Food For All. Gathering youth voices from around the world, invites a curated group of 100 youth for a discussion on the future of our food systems.
Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of malnutrition in the world where over 50 per cent of children under five are stunted. Many children do not get enough nutritious food, and often came to school hungry. IFAD teamed up with WFP and FAO to set up a food chain that enables local farmers to provide fruit and vegetables for school meals.
Acute hunger at five-year high
Coffee and chocolate can do much more than give us a boost of energy in the morning. For the last seven years, the NICADAPTA project, financed by IFAD, has improved the incomes and quality of life of more than 45,000 families in Nicaragua through the sustainable development of coffee and cocoa production. NICADAPTA works closely with producer cooperatives and their members, many of them women and youth, to help them access lucrative coffee and cocoa markets and increase their resilience to climate change.
FAO has been at the centre of the discourse of responsible business conduct in agriculture for several years. In 2016, FAO and the OECD launched a global standard for addressing risk and development in the agricultural sector. A growing number of governments around the world have since been incorporating the OECD-FAO guidance for responsible agriculture into their corporate sustainability policies, linking together investment, enterprise, agriculture, and development.
FAO reports on the stark warning from the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises revealing that conflict, economic shock and extreme weather continue to cause acute food insecurity.
Honduras: Climate change, coronavirus and caravans