Pro­duc­tiv­ity must in­crease by 1.75% an­nu­ally to feed the world

Jamaica Gleaner - - WORLD FOOD DAY -

“THE RATE of global agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity growth has failed to meet its tar­get, and un­less this trend is re­versed, the world may not be able to sus­tain­ably pro­vide the food, feed, fi­bre and bio­fu­els needed for a boom­ing global pop­u­la­tion.” This was the most re­veal­ing con­clu­sion of the Global Agri­cul­tural Pro­duc­tiv­ity (GAP) 2016 Re­port ‘Sus­tain­abil­ity in an Un­cer­tain Sea­son’ which was re­leased last Wed­nes­day. The study states that global agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity must in­crease by 1.75 per cent an­nu­ally in order to meet the de­mands of an es­ti­mated 9.7 bil­lion peo­ple in 2050.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, im­prov­ing agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity is not just about pro­duc­ing more or achiev­ing higher yields; it al­lows more to be pro­duced while max­imis­ing the use of and re­duc­ing the im­pact on pre­cious nat­u­ral re­sources.

Among other things, in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity low­ers the cost per unit of out­put, help­ing pro­duc­ers suc­ceed in to­day’s com­pet­i­tive busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, and sup­plies food and other agri­cul­ture prod­ucts for con­sumers at lower prices. It is part of a com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy to sus­tain­ably meet global de­mand for food and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts.

GAP IN­DEX

The GHI’s an­nual as­sess­ment of global pro­duc­tiv­ity growth (the GAP In­dex) shows the cur­rent rate of growth is only 1.73 per cent.

The anal­y­sis shows that the Latin Amer­i­can re­gion, and par­tic­u­larly the south­ern cone na­tions of Ar­gentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay com­prise the world’s largest net ex­port­ing zone of agri­cul­ture prod­ucts. These coun­tries and oth­ers in Latin Amer­ica have the po­ten­tial to vastly in­crease their pro­duc­tiv­ity to sus­tain­ably sup­ply food and other agri­cul­tural goods to a grow­ing world.

Har­mon­is­ing trade rules and im­prove­ments in sup­ply chains and Ja­maica is now har­ness­ing the power of trade to pro­duce com­mer­cial sweet potato prod­ucts for the first time, pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tious foods for grow­ing re­gional and global de­mand.

in­fra­struc­ture will en­able more timely and ben­e­fi­cial trade to close the fu­ture gaps.

The re­port ad­vo­cates poli­cies and in­no­va­tions in five key ar­eas to help the agri­cul­ture and food sec­tors man­age un­cer­tain sea­sons of fluc­tu­at­ing busi­ness cy­cles and cli­mate change, while fos­ter­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness to­day and sus­tain­able growth to­mor­row.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the five strate­gic pol­icy goals nec­es­sary to stim­u­late growth and re­siliency in the agri­cul­tural value chain are:

1. In­vest in pub­lic agri­cul­tural re­search, de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion.

2. Em­brace, cus­tomise and dis­sem­i­nate sci­ence-based and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies.

3. En­hance pri­vate sec­tor in­volve­ment

in agri­cul­ture and in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

4. Cul­ti­vate part­ner­ships for sus­tain­able agri­cul­tural growth and im­proved nu­tri­tion.

5. Ex­pand re­gional and global agri­cul­tural trade and har­monise stan­dards.

In sup­port of Pol­icy Two: Em­brace, cus­tomise and dis­sem­i­nate

Iscience-based and in­for­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies, the In­ter-Amer­i­can In­sti­tute for Co­op­er­a­tion on Agri­cul­ture (IICA) has helped, build­ing ca­pac­ity to pro­mote one health in food sys­tems in the Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean (LAC) re­gion.

As micro­organ­isms (such as par­a­sites, bac­te­ria, fungi and viruses) have be­come in­creas­ingly re­sis­tant to an­timi­cro­bial drugs, IICA, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ohio State Univer­sity and sup­ported with funds from the Euro­pean Union’s 10th Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Fund (EDF), is work­ing to build tech­ni­cal ca­pac­ity of vet­eri­nar­i­ans, di­ag­nos­ti­cians, epi­demi­ol­o­gists and other pub­lic-health pro­fes­sion­als in the LAC Re­gion.

Sim­i­larly, in sup­port of Pol­icy Five: Ex­pand re­gional and global agri­cul­tural trade and har­monise stan­dards, IICA has worked to har­monise trade for food safety in LAC and helped build the tech­ni­cal ca­pac­ity in Ja­maica to de­velop a com­mer­cial sweet potato in­dus­try. IICA, in part­ner­ship with other re­gional in­sti­tu­tions and with the US Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) and US Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID), in­vests in in­sti­tu­tional, hu­man, fi­nan­cial and tech­no­log­i­cal re­sources to build mem­ber coun­tries’ ca­pac­i­ties to har­ness the power of trade.

In 2009, IICA formed a part­ner­ship with USDA to im­ple­ment a longterm plan to build ca­pac­i­ties of LAC coun­tries to par­tic­i­pate in Codex pro­cesses and ef­fec­tively har­ness agri­cul­tural and food trade.

In 2014, IICA re­sponded to a re­quest from the Ja­maica Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries (MoAF) for tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to bring up to 2,000 acres of land into pro­duc­tion for or­ange flesh sweet potato. The MoAF wanted to take ad­van­tage of the grow­ing de­mand for or­ange flesh sweet potato in Europe and Canada to help Ja­maican farm­ers im­prove their liveli­hoods, while con­tribut­ing to coun­try’s GDP through for­eign ex­change earn­ings. Ja­maica is now har­ness­ing the power of trade to pro­duce com­mer­cial sweet potato prod­ucts for the first time, pro­vid­ing nu­tri­tious foods for grow­ing re­gional and global de­mand.

IIII

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