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Road to Zero Hunger Goal: SDG 2

  • 05 Aug 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

According to a recent report by the United Nations, the goal of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2 i.e. ‘Zero Hunger’ has been hit in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The zero hunger goal works in tandem with many others: Poverty elimination (SDG1), good health and well-being (SDG3), and the need for clean drinking water (SDG6).

Key Points

  • Relation with other SDGs:
    • SDG 2 and SDG 1:
      • Food security does not only rely on food availability, but also on food access.
      • If food security and poverty can be seen as part of the same battle, reduction of poverty should not only be sought through lower food prices but also through higher income.
    • SDG 2 and SDG 3:
      • Nutrition is key to good health, so the relation between SDG 2 and SDG 3 is also synergetic.
      • Environmental health through a more sustainable agriculture also establishes a link between SDG2 and SDG 3.
        • Agricultural activities substantially contribute to global pollution: Biomass burning causes air pollution and land clearing contributes to fuel combustion emissions.
        • Agriculture ammonia emissions also impact human health. They are behind several hundred thousand premature deaths per year globally.
    • Other SDGs: Similarly, education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), decent work and economic growth (SDG8), reduction of inequality (SDG10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG11), peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16), and partnership for the goals (SDG17) also influence consumption patterns and healthy diet choice.
      • Gender inequality makes several women food insecure: Female workers are a substantial share of the agricultural workforce, but face difficulties in accessing land, livestock, education, extension and financial services.
      • Decent work and economic growth (SDG8) and reduction of inequality (SDG10) can also support better nutrition by going beyond SDG1 and bringing economic resources.
  • Challenges:
    • One of the most widely studied adverse environmental impacts of the food system is its contribution to climate change.
      • The food system contributes 34% of the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Overconsumption of water resources is another critical challenge faced by agriculture.
      • Irrigation represents about 70% of global water withdrawals, and this demand is expected to continue to increase in the coming decades.
    • Excess use of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) is harmful for terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
      • Excess of N causes acidification of soils and freshwater; Nitrous oxide (N2O) causes climate-warming emissions and stratospheric ozone depletion.
  • Suggestions:
    • Facilitating new investment, research and innovation for sustainable agriculture.
    • Reducing food waste and losses.
    • Changing our consumption patterns to leverage considerable benefits on SDG outcomes by relieving pressure on natural resources and fostering the health benefits.

India’s Initiatives for Making Food Systems Sustainable

  • Achievements of India’s Green Revolution and learnings there from.
  • Cropping patterns are being changed as per agro ecological zones defined for the country.
  • Alternate farming including organic and natural farming
  • Enhancing water use efficiency in agriculture.
  • Integrated farming systems.
  • National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture

Source: DTE

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