Global Food Policy Report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations has issued a warning about an impending crisis: Climate change has triggered a code red for humanity, requiring immediate action. This dilemma is inextricably linked to food systems. Climate change has already begun to diminish agricultural output and disrupt supply chains in many countries, particularly in the poor world, placing strain on livelihoods and threatening to considerably increase hunger and malnutrition, making adaptation efforts critical.
- Researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute, Alliance of Bioversity and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, International Water Management Institute, and other partners identify six policy priorities that can and should be implemented now in the IFPRI’s 2022 Global Food Policy Report.
- Climate change has an impact on food systems, and food systems are also key contributors to climate change. According to recent estimates, food systems account for more than a third of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, making their reduction critical to any mitigation attempt.
- Through the establishment and maintenance of carbon sinks in forests, oceans, and soils, agriculture, forestry, and other land use is now the only sector with a substantial potential to become a net emissions sink—pulling more GHGs out of the atmosphere than it emits.
- Meeting the problems of climate change will necessitate a complete redesign of our food systems, which will necessitate massive legislative changes, significant investment, and an enabling environment that encourages and embraces innovation.
- The report’s six policy goals are centred on developing countries, many of which are likely to bear the brunt of climate change’s effects but lack the resources to support adaptation and long-term food system transformation.
Research and Development Investments:
Many current technological innovations, such as solar power for irrigation pumps and cold storage, genome-editing technologies, and digitization along the value chain, have demonstrated the ability to reduce emissions while also increasing productivity, presenting win-win opportunities in the fight against hunger and climate change. More funding and incentives are needed to stimulate the adaption and adoption of these technologies in order to realise their full potential in a variety of local settings.
Governance of Resources:
Integrated landscape management systems have the potential to improve sustainable resource management, but they are complicated, necessitating comprehensive and inclusive governance approaches. Policymakers must incentivize integrated landscape management, promote the adoption of clean energy sources, work to restore soil quality, strengthen land tenure rights, and ensure equitable access to water and other natural resources to motivate all stakeholders to invest in sustainability and participate in resource governance.
Better and sustainable Diet and Production:
A significant objective is to make diets healthful, inexpensive, and accessible. The research suggests that all countries implement national food-based dietary standards, emphasise R&D for nutrient-rich foods, and support improvements in the food environment) that encourage consumers to make healthy and sustainable choices.
Other Key Objectives:
- While trade-related GHG emissions should be decreased, open trade encourages resource efficiency and acts as a buffer for value chains.
- Investments in climate-smart techniques across value chains are also critical to assisting value chain participants in adapting to climate change and substantially reducing food loss and waste.
- Social protection enables impoverished people to better manage risks, particularly climate hazards, and to diversify their livelihoods in order to become more resilient.
- The money that is currently available is woefully inadequate. Repurposing government support for agricultural sectors, which totals more than $600 billion per year globally, offers a significant opportunity to eliminate harmful subsidies and border controls, reorient finance toward green innovation R&D, provide farmers and other producers with incentives.
Reforms must be based on a clear understanding of individual and collective benefits and take into account the local context of objectives, goals, and trade-offs in order to gain widespread support and be long-lasting.