The future of food and agriculture: Trends and Challenges

Want to learn about what challenges the agriculture and food system are facing (now and in the future), what’s at stake and what needs to be done about it? Well, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) took a stab at it and condensed their knowledge on the subject in a neat 160+ page report named ”The future of food and agriculture: Trends and challenges”. The report is aimed at achieving the FAO’s original vision of ”a world free from hunger and malnutrition”, and the purpose of the report has been summarised as:

The purpose of this report is to increase understanding of the nature of the challenges that agriculture and food systems are facing now and will face into the 21st century. Its analysis of 15 global trends provides insights into what is at stake and what needs to be done. Most of the trends are strongly interdependent and, combined, inform a set of 10 challenges to achieving food security and nutrition for all and making agriculture sustainable. ‘Business-as-usual’ is not an option. Major transformations in agricultural systems, rural economies and natural resource management will be needed if we are to realize the full potential of food and agriculture to ensure a secure and healthy future for all people and the entire planet.

The report covers 15 majors trends as listed below. Check the summary of the report for the condensed versions of the trends, or, if you are like The Donald and you’re not a keen reader, check the ‘At a Glance‘ version.

  • Trend 1: Population Growth, Urbanisation and Ageing
  • Trend 2: Global Economic Growth, Investment, Trade and Food Prices
  • Trend 3: Increased Competition for Natural Resources
  • Trend 4: Climate Change
  • Trend 5: Agricultural Productivity and Innovation 
  • Trend 6: Transboundary Pest and Diseases
  • Trend 7: Conflicts, Crisis and Natural Disaster
  • Trend 8: Poverty, Inequality and Food Insecurity
  • Trend 9: Nutrition and Health
  • Trend 10: Structural Change and Employment
  • Trend 11: Migration and the Feminisation of Agriculture
  • Trend 12: Changing Food Systems
  • Trend 13: Food Losses and Waste
  • Trend 14: Governance for Food Security and Nutrition
  • Trend 15: Development Finance

The report was undertaken for the quadrennial review of the FAO Strategic Framework and in preparation for the Organization’s Medium-Term Plan 2018-2021. 



 

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