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Transforming rural, agricultural and food systems
The race to feed the world’s population has started, Preeti Ahuja, Sector Manager for the World Bank, told those gathered at a Side Event of the 43rd session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The topic of the event, “Policies for Effective Rural Transformation, Agricultural and Food System Transition” is based on this indisputable fact.
Event moderator Mr. David Neven, from the FAO, said that rural agricultural areas will become increasingly important, and systems approaches may be the way forward to achieve a hunger free world by 2030.
So what should be done?
In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, rural transformation will be essential in the developing world. Rural transformation covers those processes which create higher-income societies from lower-income ones. Agriculture has a key role, by producing food and other products from renewable resources, but also in providing new jobs.
Previous experiences clearly showed that there are different ways (patterns) for the various regions and countries to undergo rural transformation. Accordingly, science and engineering have a responsibility to discover, evaluate and select the most appropriate solutions for the given regions. This analysis and decision support must consider the population growth, characteristics, resources and limitations of the given region or country, as well as the external effects of climate change.
How can rural transformation be supported effectively?
New multi-sectoral policies have to support the realization of effective rural transformations, to address the zero hunger challenge. The term "multi-sectoral" refers to the involvement of all sectors in planning of better agricultural and food systems. Looking at this wide playground, the policies of these sectors have to be managed within a systemic approach, from the field to the consumer. As it is an extremely complex issue, science and engineering can contribute by providing methods and quantitative knowledge for international policy and also for global society.
The role of youth in the “race”
Youth must be involved in getting us to the “finish line” of this race. Agriculture is the main driver of jobs in the developing world. It will be essential to raise awareness about the importance of agriculture and food production, to develop young people's knowledge and skills, as well as to foster innovation.
Blogpost by Monika Varga, #CFS43 Social Reporter – firstname.lastname@example.org
This post is part of the live coverage during the 43rd Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), a project GFAR is running in collaboration with CFS. Monika Varga is one of five YPARD members who was fully sponsored by GFAR to participate in the GFAR social media bootcamp and to attend CFS as a social reporter from 17-21 October 2016.
Photo: Rural youth in Liberia – courtesy: USAID Food and Enterprise Development Program for Liberia (FED) / Nico Parkinson