Berlin – Urbanization, together with climate change and technological progress, is contributing to a sea change in the way we produce and consume our food, which means that cities and local governments need greater support to help create a sustainable transformation of agri-food systems. This was the message conveyed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in an expert debate held today at the world conference in Berlin.


The 2023 edition of the World Forum on Food and Agriculture, an annual event organized by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, focuses on the transformation of our agri-food systems as a way of responding to the multiple crises that are unfolding. address global food security. These include climate change, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.


One of these spaces was an expert debate organized by FAO and entitled “Leveraging urban and local food systems for sustainable food systems transformation”.


Mr. Máximo Torero, FAO Chief Economist, introduced the discussion, which was moderated by Mr. Raimund Jehle, FAO Regional Program Manager. It was also attended by, among others, Mr. Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio, President of the United Nations Committee on World Food Security, Ms. Souad Abderrahim, Mayor of Tunis, and Ms. Jane Battersby, Professor of the University of Cape Town.


With 70 percent of the world’s food currently consumed in urban areas and the global urban population expected to nearly double by 2050, the expert group was invited to identify innovative ways to strengthen the role and function of food systems. urban, local and territorial food trends examining recent trends and new data sources. The group also discussed how city and local stakeholders can play an even greater role in achieving sustainable transformation of food systems.


“FAO has been working on urban food systems which have also been incorporated into the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-2031, ensuring that we not only take into account rural food production, but also urban food systems “, affirmed Mr. Torero when presenting the debate of experts.


Despite increasing urbanization (at an annual rate of 3%, the urban population in low- and middle-income countries is growing three times faster than the rural population, while it is projected that in middle-income countries As the percentage of the urban population increases from 42% in 2000 to 59% in 2030), cities and local governments do not receive adequate recognition and support at the national and global levels. Africa and Asia are undergoing the fastest urbanization process, Mr. Torero noted.


The Chief Economist also announced that the 2023 edition of FAO’s flagship report The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World will focus on urbanization as a key issue to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically the SDG 2 (Zero Hunger).


During the expert discussion, Ms Souad Abderrahim advocated for further cooperation, citing a joint project with FAO on reducing food loss and waste through early education as an example. Another practical example was provided by Mr. Armen Harutyunyan, representative of the Eurasian Economic Commission, which has a platform that aims to inform countries and private sector actors on initiatives and innovative solutions to improve food security in communities. urban.


Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

By pr.web