04 June 2021, Rome – Agroecology, digital technologies and innovation all form part of the holistic redesign of the world’s agri-food systems to make them “more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable,” QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said today.
The Director-General spoke at the opening of the 48th Special Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the inclusive multistakeholder platform set up to allow all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all.
The CFS Secretariat is hosted by FAO, the meetings are attended by UN member governments, as well as representatives of civil society, non-governmental organizations, international agricultural research systems, international and regional financial institutions, private sector associations and private philanthropic foundations.
The FAO Director-General emphasized the need for the world “to work together in harmony and solidarity” and indicated that the CFS’s inclusive structure “adds value and momentum” to FAO’s efforts to pursue quality diets for all, relieve pressure on the planet’s natural resources and assure inclusive economic growth towards Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life, leaving no one behind.
He also emphasized the importance of resilience and diversification, and the need to integrate sustainability in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – throughout agri-food systems.
The CFS special session endorsed the “Policy recommendations on agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition“.
The FAO Director-General commended the CFS and its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition for its policy recommendations, noting they can contribute to the debate at the UN Food Systems Summit later this year.
“These policy recommendations can contribute to FAO’s efforts in transforming agri-food systems, and for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security and food safety” Qu said. “FAO will work towards applying these recommendations with all the Members and I encourage all CFS members and stakeholders to do the same.”
He added that “These efforts need to be complemented with the potential of innovation and digital technologies.”
The policy recommendations recommend laying the policy foundations for agroecological and other innovative approaches to contribute to sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition.
They welcome the progress towards the FAO-hosted International Platform for Digital Food and Agriculture, urges efforts to use digital technologies to boost engagement of women, indigenous peoples and local communities in agri-food systems, fostering more direct links between producers and consumers that offer opportunities for economic diversification, and broader efforts to narrow the digital divide between and within countries.
“Business as usual is not an option,” said CFS Chair Thanawat Tiensin.
Dominik Ziller, Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Amir Abulla, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) also spoke at the event.
Earlier this year, members endorsed the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition.