Agriculture and Food

To build a happy and healthy world, the Trolls want you to become a food hero too, so #ActNow! For the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, the Trolls are joining forces with the United Nations, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Foundation to raise awareness of the important role of fruits and vegetables in creating a happy and healthy planet.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022), with the FAO serving as the lead agency. IYAFA 2022 will be an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of small-scale artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, including women and youth; to share the current and potential contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and highlight related innovation; and to build and strengthen related support and partnerships at all levels.

silhouettes of man and camels

By working with nature, pastoralism, the time-tested form of raising and breeding livestock, champions productivity, sustainability and animal welfare.

astronaut in space

While human activity has already influenced the climate, there are opportunities to mitigate its effects on Planet Earth. Back in April, four astronauts, including FAO Goodwill Ambassador Thomas Pesquet, travelled into space. They carried out a series of scientific experiments set to contribute to the fight against climate change and support global food security.

Producers: Charlotta Lomas, Anais Hotin, Marina Sánchez Castelo.
Presenter: Charlotta Lomas, FAO.
Photo credit: © ESA / NASA.
Sound effects provided by ESA and NASA.

farmer with watering can

Even as climate change takes hold, IFAD believes it’s possible to transform rural economies and food systems to make them more resilient, sustainable and inclusive, while also making them more productive and investment in small-scale farmers is key.

A girl tends to a hydroponic garden

Our food systems are breaking the planet – and the climate crisis is breaking our food systems. These are two of the biggest problems the world is facing today, and subject to the two biggest conversations the UN. At the UN Food Systems Summit in September, the WFP issued a wake-up call: 811 million people are going to bed hungry in countries where food systems are unequal, strained or broken. Yet, as more than 190 countries come together for COP26, the topic of food systems is yet to make it into the mainstream conversation at UN climate meetings.

Four people laughing in a field of grains

Staple crops in eight African countries could decrease by as much as 80 percent by 2050 in some areas if temperatures continue to rise due to climate change, according to a report released today by IFAD. This could have a catastrophic impact on poverty and food availability unless there is an urgent injection of funding to help vulnerable farmers adapt how and what they farm. The organisation warned that COP26 will fail to achieve a lasting impact if world leaders continue to prioritise mitigation and neglect investments in climate adaptation.

“Our actions are our future and the future is in our hands! We can all become food heroes Do it for the people, do it for the land!” The song created for FAO’s Food Heroes campaign was written and produced by Garry McCarthy. Music & video produced by GMCBeats at The Kabin Studio. Lyrics performed by children in Armenia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Ireland & Lebanon.

A group of smiling children eat at a table.

Mozambique is one of the most disaster-prone places in the world. In a country where over 65 per cent of the population live in rural areas and most rely on agriculture as their source of income, the destruction caused by cyclones, droughts, floods, and pests affects millions of people. As a response to these challenges, WFP and partners have launched an Emergency School Feeding Programme in Mozambique to promotes school attendance and participation among children in crisis-affected areas, while improving their access to healthy food.

Before food reaches our plates, it travels a long way. FAO illustrates how every stage of that journey makes up our agri-food systems. Farming, fishing, livestock-rearing, storing, transporting, selling, buying, eating, and disposing of our food are all part of these complex systems. The systems also include all the non-food products that come from agriculture, like cotton and forest products. Our actions and choices can help these systems become more sustainable.

A sustainable agri-food system is one in which a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods is available at an affordable price to everyone. Nobody goes hungry or suffers from any form of malnutrition. Nowadays, almost 40% of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet and 2 billion people are overweight or obese due to a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. We need to be part of the change. This World Food Day, join UN events, take action, and share the message!

man harvesting bananas

Whether it’s made from glass, plastic, metal, paper or bamboo, packaging plays an important role in keeping food fresh, ensuring it is safe as well as extending its shelf-life to reduce loss and waste. A circular approach is key. Circular packaging solutions focus on a reduce-reuse-recycle approach, including minimising single-use plastic, encouraging the reuse and recycling of materials and improving the economics and quality of recycled plastics. FAO suggests four better packaging solutions we can leverage to reduce food loss and waste.

traditional farmer in Kenya

Food is so much more than what we put into our bodies. At a human level it’s a deeply important part of our culture and history, tied to our sense of self, family and community. The food system has evolved considerably, from traditional methods that reflected location and culture to decentralized food chains with increased carbon demands. A new approach to supporting farmers is needed after a UNDP, FAO and UNEP report showed that agricultural subsidies cause market distortions that disadvantage small farmers, like this one in Kenya.

Bees on a honey comb

In 2013, Busy found out about FAO’s beekeeping course through one of his friends and decided to register to gain deeper knowledge and take his business to the next level. FAO’s three-week course armed him with critical information on the practical aspects of beekeeping, including building beehive boxes and mounting frames. With a strong determination, passion and “know-how”, Busy worked diligently in every aspect of the beekeeping trade, including planting trees and even encouraging his neighbours to grow vegetation so the bees could pollinate and collect nectar.  

hands holding plate of papayas

Global support to producers in the agricultural sector amounts to $540 billion per year, making up 15 percent of total agricultural production value. Yet 87 percent of this support is price distorting and environmentally and socially harmful. Reconfiguring agricultural producer support, rather than eliminating it, will help end poverty, eradicate hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, foster sustainable consumption and production, mitigate the climate crisis, restore nature, limit pollution, and reduce inequalities.