The global agriculture sector won’t eradicate hunger by the end of the decade or meet climate goals from the Paris Agreement without a major overhaul, key agencies cautioned Wednesday.
A United Nations pledge to eliminate hunger by 2030 appears out of reach, as low-income nations struggle to afford better diets, its Food and Agriculture Organization said in a joint report with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are also seen continuing to rise on a business-as-usual path.
The challenges are two of the most vital issues facing the world’s food sector. Reversing current trends to meet both goals would require a 28 percent increase in agricultural productivity this decade — triple the rate of the last ten years — highlighting the scale of the problem.
Battling hunger has garnered heightened attention this year, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine choked exports from one of the world’s biggest crop suppliers, stoking food inflation and potentially leaving millions more undernourished. Supply-chain hurdles and erratic weather are also straining global supply.
The run-up in crop prices may prove temporary, assuming an end to the war, the report said. Still, grain costs will likely remain high through 2023.
Improving food access through social safety nets and distribution programs, especially for the most vulnerable, is key to reducing global hunger, according to the report.
Curbing emissions, reducing food waste and limiting calorie intake in rich countries are measures needed to meet climate goals, it said.