COVID-19 has moved the world further away from reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Governments therefore urgently need to step up their efforts to meet global food security and environmental targets set by the SDGs for 2030.
That is the main finding of the OECD FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030, produced by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It finds that food security and healthy diets for a growing global population remain a challenge.
Global demand for food, fuel and industrial inputs is projected to grow at 1.2% per year over the coming decade.
Demographic trends, the growing demand for red meat in rich and middle-income nations, and a South Asian boom in dairy consumption are shaping future demand.
OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann and FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in the Foreword to Outlook, “We have a unique opportunity to set the agri-food industry on a path to sustainability, efficiency and resilience.
“Without additional efforts, the Zero Hunger goal will be missed and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture will increase further. An agri-food systems transformation is urgently needed.”
The report also found that:
- Productivity improvements are the key to feeding a growing global population sustainably
- 87% of crop growth by 2030 is projected to come from yield growth, 6% from expanded land use, and 7% from increased cropping intensity
- Global agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, mostly due to expanding livestock production. This is despite the fact that emissions per unit of output – carbon intensity of production – are expected to decrease significantly over the period
- Globally, aggregate food availability is projected to grow by 4% over the next decade to reach just over 3,000 calories per person per day
- In low-income countries, food availability is projected to increase by 3.7%, equal to 89 calories per person per day, mainly consisting of staples and sweeteners