End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
The UN explains:
“It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment.
Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. Climate change is putting even more pressure on the resources we depend on, increasing risks associated with disasters such as droughts and floods. Many rural women and men can no longer make ends meet on their land, forcing them to migrate to cities in search of opportunities. A profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish today’s 815 million hungry and the additional 2 billion people expected by 2050.
The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.”
The UN has defined 8 Targets and 13 Indicators for SDG 2. Targets specify the goals and Indicators represent the metrics by which the world aims to track whether these Targets are achieved. Below we quote the original text of all Targets and show the data on the agreed Indicators.
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
2.1: By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round
2.2: By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons
2.3: By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
2.5: By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed
2.a: Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries
2.b: Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round
2.c: Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility
It’s not just a humanitarian issue though, the decisions that business makes, particularly in food, drink, transport, processing and retail, influence outcomes linking to poverty and food waste too.
Currently, 870 million people suffer from chronic malnutrition. By 2050, there’ll be 9 billion mouths to feed, that’s 2.3 billion more than in 2009 and requires a 70% increase in food production from 2007 levels and an unprecedented demand for agriculture land.
What can business do? Support smallholders to improve productivity, reduce exposure to climate and resource scarcity risks, collaborate to improve supply chain resilience, develop new crop varieties, create digital platforms to share specific best practices advice with farmers and promote sustainable farming practices.