Global Agenda Council on Food Security 2012-2013
With continuing population growth, rising energy demand and the impact of climate change, the water-food-energy nexus, particularly in Africa, has come to be of central concern to the world community. Added to this is a complex mix of interconnected challenges, such as rapid urbanization and growing natural resource constraints, which have made global food and nutrition security more difficult to achieve.
By 2050, when the global population is projected to surpass 9 billion people, the demand for agricultural products will double. Yet, agricultural systems are already stretched to their limits by constraints on water, volatile weather patterns and price volatility, raising the risk of production shortfalls. In fact, the price volatility that has existed across the global economy since 2007 is likely to intensify, constricting global food supplies. In addition, the increased frequency of natural disasters and additional challenges posed by climate change will further threaten the resilience of production systems and smallholder farmers.
A silo approach to sustainable development is, therefore, counterproductive. Despite the fact that trade-offs exist between environmental sustainability and food productivity, it is important to develop complementary solutions to reduce pressure on the already stressed natural resource base and local livelihoods. Innovative agricultural practices combining different goals, for example substantial productivity gains, smallholder income increases and sustainability, are essential to provide adaptive buffers. However, this requires a significant level of collaboration among stakeholders along the agricultural value chain, including governments, companies, multilateral and civil society organizations, farmers, consumers and entrepreneurs.
- The global food and economic crises have driven tens of millions of additional people into food insecurity, now exceeding 1 billion hungry. Shortfalls and volatility in global food supplies and prices will likely intensify due to rising demand for food, energy, increased costs of production and intensified climate change. In the next 20 years, farmers will need to increase production on aggregate by 70%-100% and reduce post-harvest loss.
- In the coming decades, while warming may extend the frontier of agriculture in higher latitude areas (both northern and southern hemispheres), it is projected that agricultural systems will have to cope with new temperature, humidity and water stress, making the need to increase efficiency of land and water use even more critical.
“The global food system has become very vulnerable due to both natural shocks and man-made shocks. We need to build and strengthen resilience and we can leverage the Council on Food Security to influence thought processes and develop concrete action plans.”
Shenggen Fan, Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute
“What makes this Council special is that we engage the perspectives of leaders from business, governments, the research community, farmer leaders and international organizations to integrate solutions towards achieving global food security.”
David Nabarro, United Nations Special Representative for Food Security and Nutrition
Summit on the Global Agenda
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2013
World Food Prize
13-19 October 2013
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Over the past three years, the Global Agenda Council on Food Security has advised and supported the Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative, which works to transform agriculture while simultaneously improving food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity worldwide. Council Members have notably contributed to transformative change at the country level through public-private collaboration, especially in Africa where the Grow Africa partnership is afoot. The group has contributed to the global agenda through their involvement in key political processes such as the G8, G20 and Rio+20.
Entering the new term, the Council believes that food insecurity can be mitigated through policy reforms, targeted investment and innovations aimed at increasing production and access to food. Achieving large-scale impact requires coordination across a complex landscape of issues and stakeholders. Although historically food security efforts have suffered from insufficient investment and coordination, new initiatives, funding and partnerships are now creating momentum. The Council seeks to build a common agenda, help raise awareness, leverage support for priority actions and develop synergies to strengthen the global response to this challenge.
In particular, the Council will focus on:
- strengthening resilience against shocks so as to mitigate the vulnerability of global food systems
- helping smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises to manage risk and improve access to markets
- improving transparency and accountability with responsible investments in agriculture by the public and private sectors
Research Analyst: Vanessa Lecerf, Senior Research Analyst, Global Agenda Councils, Vanessa.email@example.com
Council Manager: Tania Tanvir, Senior Project Manager, Consumer Industries, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Lisa Dreier, Director, Food Security and Development Initiatives, email@example.com
- Closing the Food Gap
- Unlocking the Food Chain
- Mending the Holes in the Food Safety Net
- Fresh Solutions for Food Security
- Managing the Water-Food-Energy Nexus
- Food Security for Latin America's Future
- Food and Fuels
- Fears about Food Security: A New Backlash to Globalization?
- Rethinking the Food Chain
- Food Insecurity: A Perfect Storm
- Fears over Food and Fuel: Can Asia Manage the Political Costs of Inflation?