November 21, 2013

Commentary - Putting Food and Farming on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

By Esin Mete
Ms Esin Mete is the President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the CEO of Toros-Agri.

While the climate talks in Warsaw continue to sideline the world’s one billion farmers from the policy discussions, another UN process – the post-2015 development agenda – offers another opportunity for the agricultural sector to contribute to the future sustainable development challenges ahead of us. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being discussed in this process as the next iteration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are set to expire at the end of 2015, and a New York UN meeting next week (25-27 Nov) will signify the next step in their formulation.

A new infographic by Farming First takes a new creative approach to looking at the post-2015 agenda by fast-forwarding to the year 2030 (when the SDGs are expected to expire) in order to ask the question, “Are we taking the necessary steps NOW to meet the predicted needs we will have in 2030?”

Compiling the most expert global estimates, forecasts and trends, the infographic skips forward in time, to a world in which 543 million people will still be undernourished, global food demand will have risen by 35% and arable land will have decreased by 9%. Crop yields will decrease and prices will rise while agriculture’s demand alone for water will outstrip sustainable, replenishable supply.

Perhaps the most striking trend emerging from this collection of data is just how quickly life will change for those in the developing world. Consumption and wealth is predicted to accelerate fast, particularly in India and China, leading to increased demand and changing diets. Meanwhile, population in sub-Saharan Africa will rise significantly, leading to increased need for food imports and comparably high remaining levels of poverty and hunger. 



By highlighting these 2030 projections, the infographic encourages decision-makers to focus on the end goals that the post-2015 agenda should be designed to address and how agriculture, can play an important role to help achieve them.

If we are alarmed by what we are likely to see in 2030, what actions will we need to take today to ensure our future outlook remains promising?

Take a look at the world we could be facing, share these key statistics and join us in asking policy makers to keep this future picture in mind when shaping the Sustainable Development Goals and striving towards the goal of Zero Hunger in our lifetimes.

Ms Esin Mete is the President of the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and the CEO of Toros-Agri. She has led the effort to produce zinc-enhanced NPK fertilizers in her home country of Turkey, thus pioneering micronutrient fertilization as an effective means of addressing food security and malnutrition. A vocal advocate, Ms. Mete strongly believes in the role of extension services and initiated agronomic training programs dedicated to women farmers in Turkey. She is also chairing a Farming First-organised high-level event at the United Nations in New York on “Eradicating Hunger and Malnutrition in our Lifetime”.

About

The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Blogroll

1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

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