“Technology is essential to transform the global food system”

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The world faces challenges to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and technological innovation could play a critical role in transforming the global food system, says Dr Agnes Kalibata, envoy. UN Secretary-General’s Special for the Food Systems Summit 2021..

“With less than 10 years to 2030, the world is not on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals,” Dr Kalibata said in a keynote address at the Food Systems Forum, hosted by Pinduoduo . “In some cases, we are moving in the wrong direction, with increasing hunger, malnutrition, environmental degradation and inequality.

The global community faces the challenge of feeding a growing population with dwindling resources, making transformation towards sustainable agriculture and food systems more imperative and innovation more crucial. By the end of the 21st century, the world’s population is expected to reach 11 billion. As the population grows, the associated challenges, such as inequalities, environmental degradation, disease, social conflict and hunger, will also increase. Globally, one in three people suffered from malnutrition in 2018 and, if the current trend continues, one in two people could be malnourished by 2030.

There are strong links between the transformation of the food system and climate, nature, health and livelihoods, said Dr Kalibata. Sustainable food systems not only help end hunger, they can also help the world make critical progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, she said.

“It cannot be about food security or ending hunger or stopping the damage to biodiversity and ecosystems independently of each other,” she said. “Food systems are about tackling all of these challenges at the same time. ”

Dr Kalibata highlighted the role of innovation and technology in transforming global food systems. She also praised the role Pinduoduo, China’s largest agricultural e-commerce platform, is playing in connecting Chinese farmers to the mass market and lifting them out of poverty.

Pinduoduo recorded more than 270 billion yuan ($ 42 billion) in gross volume of agriculture-related goods in 2020, up from 136 billion yuan in 2019. Chairman and CEO Chen Lei said agriculture will remain. a strategic axis for the company and that Pinduoduo will build the largest agricultural and food platform in the world.

“Technology is at the center of this dialogue and could potentially be a catalyst for change in this process,” she said. “The fact that Pinduoduo, as an agricultural e-commerce platform, uses technology to increase market access for more than 12 million farmers in China provides us with a vivid example.

You can find out more and register for the Pinduoduo Food Systems Forum here

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