This year’s ‘The State of Food and Agriculture’ report is entitled ‘Making agri-food systems more resilient to shocks and stresses’. It provides an assessment of the ability of national agri-food systems to respond to or recover readily from shocks and stressors. It also offers guidance to governments on how they can improve resilience.
According to the report, published this week by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, countries all over the world need to make their agri-food systems ‘more resilient to sudden shocks of the kind witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
There are approximately three billion people who cannot afford a healthy diet, with the FAO estimating that an additional one billion people would join their ranks if a shock reduced incomes by one-third. Moreover, food costs could increase for up to 845 million people if a disruption to critical transport links were to occur.
The report defines shocks as “short-term deviations from long-term trends that have substantial negative effects on a system, people’s state of wellbeing, assets, livelihoods, safety and ability to withstand future shocks.”
Based on the evidence of the report, FAO recommends that governments make resilience in agri-food systems a strategic part of their responses to ongoing and future challenges.