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Wealth of Nations : Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2011년 발간

세부항목 안내표
대분류 키워드 Time Horizon Quality Territorial Scope
Social,Economics Food, Agriculture 없음 Highly Recommand Global

Report 보고서

요약

Our population trajectory means that from now to 2030, the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of one million people in developing countries, every five days! There is widespread consensus that, going forward, farmers must produce more food per unit of land, water, and agrochemicals.

To do so, however, they simply cannot continue producing in the same way. They will have to do this while facing climate change, volatility, shifting nutrition needs, and the increasing scarcity of most of the physical factors of production. Agriculture is at the threshold of a necessary paradigm shift.

This paper illustrates how leading thinkers imagine our future food and agriculture world. It eschews positions and instead invites reasoned discussion. It cuts across the thought silos intrinsic to different world views and partisan values to identify consensus and also disagreement. We solicited input from leading experts in different dimensions of agriculture, representing the perspectives of the natural and social sciences, developing and developed countries, policy and academia, public and private.

Respondents were asked about most significant trends and the most important priorities in the next 20 years to ensure sustainable food and agriculture systems.

Farming has enormous impacts on the world’s most critical resources. Accordingly, farmers will have to produce while also ensuring the provision of various vital ecosystem services. If they do not, we will not only degrade those resources but also exhaust the ability to produce enough food.

These expectations pose quite a challenge and the overall outcome depends very much on the response of millions of mostly small and medium farmers. The current ‘more production’ orientation is so outdated and unresponsive to our current needs that it is causing its own problems, particularly for our environment

and natural resources. Although food is critical, it is not just about food. We have a pressing need for new approaches in policies and structures that realistically account for the formidable environmental impacts and consider the social consequences of our evolving agrifood systems. Rather than simply “more” production, we must also consider what would be “better” production and better food systems.

There are many who advocate a profound re-thinking of our current models and, to better serve our coming needs, would re-imagine and transform the world’s major agriculture and food systems, not just tinker at the margins or modify them incrementally. Recent decades have seen such re-imagining result in radical and world-changing innovations in every field from politics (social network media) to healthcare (nanotech-based diagnostics and drugs) and communication (mobile telephony).

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1. Introduction 1

Brief background 2

Methodology 3

2. State of agriculture and food: An overview 5

2.1 Introduction: The food challenge 6

Challenges to food security 8

Waste 9

The challenges of emerging dietary habits for human health and ecosystem health 10

Pressures on food prices 12

2.2 Shifting organization of the agriculture sector 14

Shifting roles and governance from public to private 15

Role of firms in governance 16

Integration and global markets 17

Increased role of technology and innovation 18

Increased concentration and dependence in food supply 20

2.3 External challenges 22

Increase in population 22

Agricultural land degradation and water scarcity 22

Climate change 24

Energy market impacts on agriculture 25

Rethinking agriculture’s role in the ecosystem: a necessary multifunctionality 26

2.4 Conclusion 27

3. Main challenges and priorities of global thought leaders 29

Themes addressed 30

3.1 Policy Group 30

Introduction: Successes and challenges 30

The Importance of technology and innovation 31

Shifts in research and development to facilitate innovation 31

Shifts in policy to incentivize prudent use of limited resources 32

Trade and markets 33

Focus on smallholders is crucial 34

Waste and consumption 34

3.2 Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Group 35

Climate change 35

Water 35

Soil quality 36

xii Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability

Rural Livelihoods and the role of small holders: Encouraging agroecological farming practices 37

Encouraging cooperation and farmer organization and improving extension 37

Research and extension with small-holders 38

Health and food safety and new technologies 38

Women in agriculture: 39

Bio-fuels 39

Land grabs 39

The missing links and what is needed to move forward 40

3.3 Agricultural Production and Environmental Sustainability Group 41

Introduction: Many shades of green 41

Salient trends and looming challenges 41

Biophysical aspects of farm, ecosystem, and landscape management 43

Institutional innovation: Organization, governance, policy, and markets 45

Recommendations 47

3.4 Business Specialists Group 49

Overview of perspectives 49

Population trends and nutrition security 50

Sustainability and rural livelihoods 50

Sustainability and technology practices 51

Sustainability and natural resource inputs (water, soil) 51

Sustainability and landscape change (biodiversity, conservation,

ecosystem services and climatic adaptation) 52

Sustainability and markets (post-harvest processes, quality and safety,

bio-based products, and supply chain standards) 53

Future Choices: Recommendations and next steps 54

4. Our choices: Agriculture and food in a changing world 57

4.1 The next 20 years: Ranking priorities 58

4.2 What a new era for agriculture looks like: Consensus areas 59

4.3 Seven remaining areas of disagreement 65

4.4 Conclusion

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