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The State of Food and Agriculture 2021

Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses

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FAO. 2021. The State of Food and Agriculture 2021. Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses. Rome, FAO.

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    The CELAC plan for food security, nutrition and the eradication of hunger 2030 consists of three chapters. The first presents the context and trends that affect food security and nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean, organized into four pillars, i) Strengthen legal and institutional frameworks and macroeconomic and trade policies for the coordination and implementation of food security and nutrition plans, policies and programmes with a gender and ethnic-racial focus and human rights perspective, in particular the Right to Adequate Food; ii) Promote sustainable production, food supply and physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious foods for all people, especially those in more vulnerable situations, with cultural and territorial relevance; iii) Guarantee the affordability and consumption of healthy diets for the entire population, especially those in more vulnerable situations, while ensuring respect for the diversity of diets and food culture; iv) Promote sustainable and resilient agrifood systems to address climate change, protect biodiversity, efficiently use natural resources, and provide timely assistance to the population in the face of extreme climate events and natural disasters that may affect the availability of food. It also has 15 lines of action and 142 action measures proposed. The second focuses on financing and the instruments for its implementation, such as the regional platform of the CELAC for 2030. The third is related to monitoring and the proposed indicators for the analysis of the results, including their contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals and the additional objectives agreed by the countries.
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    State of food and agriculture in the Asia and Pacific region, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
    Thirty-sixth Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 36)
    FAO has been intensively working on the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme, to reach a larger share of rural populations and to relaunch economic activities. In addition to response, the Programme is also working on building back better and stronger towards transforming agrifood systems across all our Four Betters, with an emphasis on its seven priority areas of work as well as focus on science and innovation, climate change, legal frameworks and scaling up existing programmes. This paper examines the situation in Asia and the Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic situation in 2020 and 2021. It reviews the health, economic, livelihood, and food security impacts both regionally and at the country level for specific groups such as the poor and the most vulnerable segments of the population. Given the broad socio-economic reach of the pandemic, the Report examines the macro-economic impacts and the effects on employment and income, migration and trade, economic growth and government fiscal space, food security and nutrition, poverty, and hunger. The Report also reviews the various government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic covering the health crisis, macro economy, unemployment, food supply disruptions, food demand shocks arising from the pandemic lockdowns, reduced mobility, restrictions on international travel, and internal and cross border migration. These responses include government investments in health services; expansion of social protection measures to new groups and beneficiaries; measures to ensure continued trade in critical food and health products, and financial support measures to minimize job losses and reduce food supply chain disruptions. It also covers new policies and investment priorities, including digital technologies, to rebuild agrifood systems that are resilient, inclusive and green.
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    Negotiated territorial development in a multi-stakeholders participatory Resource Planning approach: an initial sustainable framework for the Near east Region 2016
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    Throughout the Near East, land and water shortages, land degradation, out of date land tenure systems and food insecurity are compounded by asymmetries in gender roles and power, by severe imbalances in the political-military structures within and between countries, by flagrant deficiencies in land and water management and control systems, and by the incessant increases in demand driven by high rates of population growth and urbanization. This interplay of forces and dynamics form a complex hydr o socio-political web that governs the allocation land and water and who benefits from their availability and their ultimate sustainability. The current allocation arrangements of the region's three major river basins - the Nile, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Jordan - are nascent sources of tension, and potential sources of conflict and violence. Political instability that characterizes the Near East continues to intensify scarcity, suppresses growth and engenders poverty and is being increasingl y exacerbated by the impending consequences of climate change. The Middle East is one of the most water poor and water stressed regions of the globe. While the region is home to 5.1% of the people of the world, it has about only 1% of the world renewable fresh water. Today's annual per capita availability of fresh water in the region is only one seventh of its 1960 level, falling from 3,300 cubic metres per person in 1960 to less than 500 cubic metres in 2015. This is the lowest per capita wat er availability in the world. The current land tenure systems are failing to address long-standing problems that include smallholder farmers, landless households and most marginalized groups such as women continue to compete for shrinking natural recourses, while pastoralists are losing control of their traditional grazing areas. Use, management and access to land and water are becoming extremely sensitive matters as the number of users grows. Governments and local actors have often perceived these major issues differently. This requires effort to be made to ensure a participatory approach to decision-making that effectively involves all the local actors concerned in an equitable and balanced manner. About 90% of the land area in this Region is subject to land degradation in different forms and over 45% of land suitable to farming is exposed to various types of land degradation which include soil nutrient depletion, salinity and wind and water erosion. Per capita arable land availa bility in the region is among the lowest in the world where many countries in the region show levels that are exceptionally low (on average less than 0.123 hectares per person) and the range varies between 0.01 hectares per person (Oman, Qatar, Palestine, Kuwait and Bahrain) to 0.34 hectares in the Sudan in 2015. Arable land as a percentage of land area in the region is very low ranging between 0.1% in Oman to 18.4% in Tunisia in 2013. Most of the countries in the region show shares below 10%. O nly Morocco, Tunisia, and Iraq sow percentages above 10%. Irrigated land areas in the region also represent a small share of total arable land areas. In many of the countries in the region these shares are way below the world average. Only Iran (17.4%) and the UAE (12.5%) show high relative shares in the period 2011-2015. The Region’s critical shortage of water and cultivable land, including the increasing pressure on these resources and their degradation makes their efficient management a pa ramount task. It will be necessary in this regard to promote the engagement of all concerned stakeholders in planning and managing land, water and agrobiodiversity. Actual physical scarcity of land and water, even in the Middle East region, is not the only key issue. Conditions of economic scarcity seem to be equally pressing; there is perhaps enough land and water to meet society's need, but there are few incentives for wise, efficient and egalitarian use of these critical resources. Climate change will impinge on this region’s fragile water balances, suitable land for cultivation, grazing land and food production capacities and will exacerbate the problems and issues of food security. Measures, policies, strategies and institutional capacities to mitigate the impending catastrophic consequences of climate change and to improve the societies’ resilience and adaptation to its consequences are needed now. The sooner the regulatory and institutional setups are put in place the easier the task to deal with climate and other risks. It is necessary and vital to rise up to this challenge by enlisting the stakeholders in the initiatives to promote sustainability and efficiency of land and water use and the management of food security issues. An active engagement of concerned stakeholders in planning and managing water, land and agrobiodiversity necessitates first and foremost the engagement of and participation of particularly women and girls and marginalized groups in all wate r and food aspects as they constitute the main agricultural labour force and the most deprived segments of society. Gender and the water and land nexus in the Arab region is an area where there is still relative little information. There is little systematic knowledge about the many means by which women and men manage water and land in the region. Evidence shows that while women in Egypt have a significant role to play in water use in the process of food production by controlling and managi ng water flows in the fields and supervising workers during irrigation, they rarely own the land they cultivate. Rural women in Yemen spend huge amounts of time collecting and transporting water, often up and down steep slopes and coordinate water allocation and distribution for the various needs of the family and the household but they are rarely involved in decision making and management councils that govern land and water uses. Women everywhere in the Middle East evaluate water quantity and q uality and prioritize water for drinking and health and sanitation purposes but they rarely share equally in the benefits of their labor or in the ownership of the land and water resources. This is why an integrated water and land management system anchored on a genuine participation of stakeholders will be crucial in determining whether the Arab world achieves the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aspirations for reducing poverty and enhancing shared prosperity. Water and land are the c ommon currency which links nearly every SDG, and it will be a critical determinant of success. Abundant water supplies and cultivable land are vital for the production of food and will be essential to attaining SDG 2 on food security; clean and safe drinking water and sanitation systems are necessary for health as called for in SDGs 3 and 6; and water is needed for powering industries and creating the new jobs identified in SDGs 7 and 8. None of this is achievable without adequate and safe water and sufficient suitable land to nourish the planet’s life-sustaining ecosystem services identified in SDGs 13, 14 and 15.

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