The agricultural sector is facing several challenges: a growing population, urbanisation, and rising household income. These factors will continually increase the demand for food and put great pressure on this sector. Although there is enough food for all in the world, not all can afford to buy. According to the UN, extreme poverty and hunger are mainly problems of rural areas where people depend directly or indirectly on agriculture, fisheries, or forestry as a source of income and food.

Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger was a millennium development goal (MDG) from 2000 to 2015 and there was a positive evolution. However, there was a need for the 2030 Agenda to expand the targets of this goal and consider a more systemic approach.

Thus, SDG 2 integrates and links different dimensions: ending hunger and improving nutrition, achieving food security, and promoting sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture. Beyond the strong connection with poverty, SDG 2 is also related to health, climate change, gender equality, labour, land degradation, water scarcity, biofuel production, and inequality issues.

Investment and innovation should have a crucial role in increasing sustainable agricultural production, improving the global supply chain, decreasing food losses and waste, and ensuring permanent access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food for all people. Governments also have an important role in ensuring policy coherence, in particular with Common Agricultural Policy, and in developing policy to support small-scale farming.

Education, in particular vocational training, is fundamental for the process of raising agriculture productivity, acquiring knowledge, skills, and competences, innovation and research, facilitating access to land, credit, and business development services and improving conditions of agricultural and rural employment.

Action Area

  • Solidarity action

    Solidarity action

    In recent decades, substantial progress has been made in reducing hunger and undernutrition. However, malnutrition and hunger are still a reality, especially in rural regions and developing countries. Unfortunately, this isn’t only a problem in developing countries. Food insecurity associated with inequalities in high-income countries is a serious challenge. For example, in 2013, 7.2% of the population in developed countries used food banks (IDS, 2013). Actions supporting campaigns to eradicate hunger, providing food assistance through food banks, and reducing food waste are important and must be associated with effective government social policies.
  • Sustainable production

    Sustainable production

    Sustainable management of land, healthy soils, water, and plant genetic resources is crucial to ensure a reliable and sustainable food production system. Sustainable agricultural practices should promote long term fertility and productivity of soil at economically viable levels. As agricultural systems will face the challenge of climate change, investments in innovation, research, and development of new technologies will be needed. Individuals could promote sustainable production investing in companies which develop new technologies, research agriculture advancements and climate change, or produce their food using sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Conscious consumption

    Conscious consumption

    Conscious consumption is related to the concern of each individual with consumption of local products in order to contribute to the local economy and small producers, and at the same time, to reduce the ecological footprint, while also consuming healthy food. All stages of the food supply chain must be considered (production, processing and packaging, distribution, consumption, and disposal) to create healthy and sustainable diets. In this context, individuals can contribute by maintaining a conscious diet, buying seasonal food from local farmers, learning how to cook healthy food according to the food wheel, and reducing their meat consumption.
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