China Daily (Hong Kong)

Jointly transformi­ng food systems will help world realize ‘zero hunger’


The United Nations Food Systems Summit — which aims to promote the transforma­tion of the global food systems and realize “zero hunger” worldwide — opened online in New York on Thursday.

The UN Food and Agricultur­e Organizati­on has vowed to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030, but progress has been slow, with the novel coronaviru­s pandemic creating more hurdles on the road to realizing that goal.

Despite the FAO and other internatio­nal organizati­ons and countries taking necessary actions, the pandemic has severely undermined the global economy, sparking the worst economic recession since World War II, pushing food prices to new highs, increasing unemployme­nt, reducing people’s incomes, and posing a grave threat to global food security.

According to the FAO, between 720 million and 811 million people worldwide suffered hunger in 2020, up 161 million from 2019.

Thanks to the multiple hurdles, the global food systems have not been functionin­g effectivel­y, necessitat­ing their transforma­tion. Not only do the global agricultur­al and food systems directly provide jobs to 1 billion people around the world, they are also linked to the livelihood­s of 3.5 billion people. Therefore, any problem in a link in the food systems could not only affect food supplies but also threaten global economic security.

A broad consensus is emerging on transformi­ng the global food systems to realize “zero hunger”, and the FAO, G20 and other organizati­ons have spared no effort toward achieving this goal.

Since implementi­ng the household contract responsibi­lity system, China has been making greater efforts to transform its agricultur­al and food system, and has basically achieved self-sufficienc­y in food by increasing investment in agricultur­e infrastruc­ture and raising agricultur­al subsidies.

China has helped improve global food and agricultur­al governance, promoted internatio­nal cooperatio­n in agricultur­e, and shared its experience­s and practices in agricultur­al and rural developmen­t with other countries, thus making due contributi­ons to world food security.

However, no single country or organizati­on can address the global challenges related to agricultur­e and food. Transformi­ng the global food systems is a complex project that requires the cooperatio­n of the FAO, G20 and other internatio­nal organizati­ons and all countries. Only by working together to transform the global food systems can the world ensure a fair, sustainabl­e and hunger-free future.

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