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

Archive


A Better Way Forward for Food and Agriculture

Passage of the 2014 farm bill ends a frustrating two-year legislative journey, largely driven by a search for significant budget reductions, and often fueled by polarizing rhetoric on how to make those cuts a reality.


Photo of the Week

Elias Ndinduyubwo of Kagabiro, Rwanda, carries maize stalks he cut earlier that morning while harvesting.


The Ethiopian Approach to Food Security

Last year, a bipartisan group of 23 members of Congress, hosted by the Aspen Institute, travelled to Ethiopia to get a firsthand view of the progress the country was making in modernizing agriculture and smallholder farming.





101 Organizations to Watch in 2014

There's no shortage of organizations around the world who are working to create a more sustainable, more just food system.


Photo of the Week

Catherine Simiyu from Bunambobi, Kenya, spreads the beans she just harvested to dry in the sun.


Interview with Mauricio Antonio Lopes

Mauricio Antonio Lopes, president of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, explains Brazil's national efforts to invest in agricultural development and the importance of scientific investment to achieve global food security.


Meet the Experts: Navyn Salem

Navyn Salem is the founder and Executive Director of Edesia, a non-profit producer of Plumpy’Nut and other peanut-based, ready-to-use nutritious foods used to treat and prevent childhood malnutrition. Since March 2010, Edesia has reached 1.6 million malnourished children in 36 countries.


Interview with Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, chief executive officer and head of mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), highlights the need to invest in women farmers to boost agricultural production and the intersection between scientific research and agricultural development.
 


Photo of the Week

Anonciata Mbakirirehe of Kayenzi, Rwanda, stands amid her newly germinated maize.


Interview with 2013 Next Generation Student Jose Pablo Soto-Arias

Jose Pablo Soto-Arias, a plant pathology student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, describes his work on food-borne plant pathogens as well as the importance of supporting new agricultural research and young scientists in the field of food security.
 


Interview with Cynthia Rosenzweig

Cynthia E. Rosenzweig, senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, discusses the important role of research and education to help mitigate impacts of climate change.