As COVID-19 continues to trigger havoc to the well being, diet, lives and livelihoods of a whole bunch of tens of millions of individuals internationally’s largest area, it has additionally provided a chance to rebuild a worldwide, agri-food system that was already not match for function in offering correct diet for the lots.
World Food Day, noticed annually on 16 October, affords a chance in 2021 – with the Asia-Pacific area nonetheless caught within the grip of the pandemic – an opportunity to return collectively to construct momentum on latest world efforts to remodel agri-food techniques by fully rethinking the normal approaches to the sectors that help these techniques.
That was the primary message at an Asia-Pacific World Food Day Webinar hosted by the Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The solution to ending hunger needs to be bigger than the problem itself,” stated Jong-Jin Kim, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “It needs to ensure Better Production, Better Nutrition, Better Environment and a Better Life. The way forward is a transformational approach that results in more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems and leaves no one behind.”
A Guest of Honour
The Asia-Pacific World Food Day regional occasion additionally heard from its Guest of Honour, FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand, who delivered a keynote video deal with.
“That is the main takeaway message of this year’s World Food Day – we must do better. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet. And while we can blame the global pandemic for making matters worse, much of the problem existed even before this pandemic,” Her Royal Highness stated.
“We promised ourselves – indeed the world promised itself – that by 2030 we would reach the Sustainable Development Goals. And yet, globally, 20 percent more women than men aged 25 – 34 live in extreme poverty and more than 18 percent of indigenous women live on less than one-dollar-and-ninety-cents a day. We promised to leave no one behind. So we should keep our promises.”
“Transforming our agri-food systems will be a necessary challenge to building back better – to ensuring those four ‘Betters’ are achieved. It’s a big challenge, but as we’ve heard just last month at the UN Food Systems Summit in New York, it is actually a challenge many players are keen to take on – from governments to private sector and civil society – there’s a role for everyone.”
The agri-food system transformation has already begun within the Asia-Pacific area
During the Webinar, moderated by Atsuko Okuda, Regional Director, Asia and the Pacific, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), insights on current and future improvements for agri-food transformations, had been gained from panelists together with Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Esther Penunia, Secretary-General, Grow Asia’s Paul Voutier, Senior Advisor on Innovation, Ram Kiran Dhulipala, Theme Leader for Digital Agriculture and Youth from International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Irene Yee Chief, Instructional Designer on the University of South Pacific in Fiji, and Rita Bromo, President of Madhya Rakudiya Farmers’ Organization in Bangladesh.
The panelists mentioned how improvements are already occurring all through meals techniques: from manufacturing to consumption. The ongoing meals e-commerce revolution happening within the Asia-Pacific area is going on on the similar time that mobile-based enterprise fashions are rising to offer advisory, advertising and marketing and monetary companies at scale to smallholder farmers, whereas a parallel revolution in Industry 4.0 applied sciences is taking agro-industries to new ranges of effectivity.
Asia-Pacific: Moving ahead with science and innovation – and rediscovering good practices
Advances in science and bodily improvements are additionally reshaping the best way by which meals is grown, packaged and offered. At the identical time, the utility of conventional data and good cultural practices is being rediscovered to reinforce sustainability and resilience of meals techniques. In reality, digitalization offers a chance to revive and disseminate these practices broadly. Together they provide nice potential for bettering the effectivity and sustainability of agri-food techniques in Asia-Pacific as highlighted throughout the latest SIDS Solutions Forum held on 30 and 31 August and the launch of the SIDS Solutions Platform and its different outcomes.
“We are a resourceful people. We have thousands of years of agriculture-based systems and hundreds of generations of know-how that have been handed down to us,” Kim famous, assured that, with the correct will-power, reaching agri-food transformation within the Asia and Pacific was not simply attainable, it was possible.
The Asia-Pacific World Food Day Webinar concluded with closing remarks by JohnAylieff, Regional Director of the World Food Programme.