Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture


Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, Volume 20, 2016, Pages 402-406

Aquaponics is an innovative smart and sustainable production system for integrating aquaculture with hydroponic vegetable crops, that can play a crucial role in the future of environmental and socio-economic sustainability in smart cities. Aquaponics can play a key role enabling local production with short supply chains in the cities. This contributes to sustainable production addressed in SDG 12 as well as the connection to SDG 2.
This article reports the most recent assessment of the global burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors and says that reductions in exposure have been key drivers of change for only a small set of environmental risks, including sanitation, household air pollution, and behavioural risks (eg, undernutrition and smoking). Understanding these risks helps to inform the achievement of SDG 3 targets.
A farmer in Uganda
Lucy Ajok, a 34 year old Ugandan farmer, gives Farmers Weekly an insight into her rural life. Lucy is a single mother of five children and lives on a three-acre farm practising mixed farming. Farming families dependent on family labour, like Lucy's, are typically the poorest in Uganda, and often have the additional challenge of HIV. This interview shares some of the challenges faced in achieving SDG 1 and SDG 2.
The role of agriculture in flood risk mitigation has been largely overlooked in the UK government’s national flood resilience review. Farm leaders are concerned that the review contains little mention of agriculture, rural communities or food security. This highlights the need to address flood risk mitigation holistically to support SDG 13.1 to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, and SDG 2.4 to implement resilient agricultural practices that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, including flooding.
An autonomous harvester starts to cut robot-grown barley
The groundbreaking Hands Free Hectare project has just seen its first harvest. This £200,000 Innovation UK-funded project by Harper Adams University with Precision Decisions has modified existing machinery to drill, sow, spray and harvest the crop without any human control. The project aims to show how automation can facilitate a sustainable farming system where multiple smaller, lighter machines will enter the field, minimising the level of compaction (SDG 15, life on land and SDG 9, industry, innovation and infrastructure).
Global consumption of aquatic foods has been increasing in recent decades but demand outstrips supply. This study evaluated the sustainability of cage production systems for Nile tilapia in the Santa Cruz Reservoir. The results showed that by creating a framework to measure the sustainability of aquaculture production, effects of increasing production can be assessed and measures can be taken to meet SDG 14.2 to sustainably manage and protect marine ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts.
Israeli startup tech firm SuperMeat is attracting substantial crowd funding to support its development of chicken meat grown in a laboratory. This technological solution could open the door to an affordable and sustainable source of human food. Developing sustainable sources of conventional meat will contribute to the advancement of SDG 12.2 to achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources in the food sector and address SDG 2 zero hunger.

Chem, Volume 1, Issue 1, 7 July 2016, Pages 10-12

Paul Anastas and Julie Zimmerman highlight the vital role chemistry must play in creating a sustainable future. The article provides a robust definition for green chemistry and examines the role of green chemistry in supporting the SDGs, with a particular focus on the goals addressing water, poverty and food: SDGs 1, 2, 6 and 12.
One of the most important consequences of climate change could be its effects on agriculture and subsequent global food availability. This modelling study is the first quantitative analysis of the global health implications of dietary and weight changes in view of climate change and agricultural production. It estimates the excess mortality attributable to agriculturally mediated changes by cause of death for 155 world regions in the year 2050. Authors warn that climate change mitigation will be key to preventing climate-related deaths through food insecurity and thereby demonstrating the linkages between SDG 3 and SDG 13.
Food security is enshrined in SDG2 and is also a core component of the human development and capability paradigm, since food access and entitlements are critical for reinforcing essential human capabilities. This paper argues that agriculture is central to improving food security and reducing poverty in Africa, requiring rapid increases in land productivity and increases in agricultural yields. A science-based approach that integrates gender and sustainability is critical to design and implement policies that improve the availability of farm inputs and farm technology.