Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture

Food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture constitute fundamental elements that contribute significantly to the attainment of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals are a globally shared blueprint that calls for peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. Focusing on food security and nutrition is directly linked to SDG 2 which seeks to "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture." Beyond SDG 2, these themes also relate to other SDGs such as Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-being, Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 13 - Climate Action. The relationship between sustainable agriculture and these goals is profound; by promoting eco-friendly farming methods, we reduce the environmental footprint, mitigate climate change, and ensure the long-term sustainability of food production systems.

Moreover, sustainable agriculture is vital in fostering biodiversity, improving soil health, and enhancing water use efficiency, which are critical aspects related to Goals 14 and 15 - Life below Water and Life on Land respectively. By safeguarding our ecosystems, we not only ensure food security but also the preservation of the natural environment for future generations. In turn, better nutrition is a conduit to improved health (SDG 3), and it can also influence educational outcomes (SDG 4), given the known links between nutrition and cognitive development.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the interconnections go beyond these goals. There's an important nexus between sustainable agriculture, food security and issues of poverty (SDG 1), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), and economic growth (SDG 8), among others. Sustainable agriculture creates job opportunities, thus reducing poverty levels. By empowering women in agriculture, we can help achieve gender equality. Proper water and sanitation practices in agriculture can prevent contamination, ensuring clean water and sanitation for all. Therefore, the triad of food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture, while being a significant goal in itself, is also a vehicle that drives the achievement of the wider Sustainable Development Goals.

This book chapter discusses how new policies are needed to reorient the food system so that it prioritizes smallholder communities, with a renewed focus on the needs and aspirations of women, advancing SDG 2 ad SDG 5.
Agriculture consumes huge amounts of water in China and is profoundly affected by climate change. This study projects the agricultural water use towards 2030 under the climate change mitigation target at the provincial level in China by linking a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model and a regression model.

Tillage is the most common agricultural practice dating back to the origin of agriculture. In recent decades, no-tillage (NT) has been introduced to improve soil and water quality. However, changes in soil properties resulting from long-term NT can increase losses of dissolved phosphorus, nitrate and some classes of pesticides, and NT effect on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission remains controversial. Complementary management that enhances the overall environmental benefits of NT is therefore crucial.

Elsevier, Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 103, September 2020
Background: In humanitarian contexts, ensuring access to safe, nutritious, good quality and culturally appropriate food in the right quantity at the right time and place during an emergency or a protracted crisis is an enormous challenge, which is likely to increase given uncertainties such as climate change, global political and economic instability and emerging pandemics like COVID-19. Several international organizations and non-government organizations have well established systems to respond to food security emergencies.
2018 First prize winner Dr. Prajwal Rajbhandari
In 2018, Dr. Prajwal Rajbhandari was awarded the first prize of the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge for his project, “Guava leaves as natural preservatives for farmers of Nepal.” Due to a lack of viable non-toxic preservatives, or cold chain technologies, one-third of Nepal’s produce is spoiled before it reaches market each year. Dr. Rajbhandari’s project taps the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of guava leaves to make a water-based, sprayable natural preservative, contributing to SDGs 2, 12 and 15. Two years later, we interviewed Dr. Rajbhandari about his experience as a winner, as well as the upcoming steps for his project.
Eradicating food insecurity is necessary for achieving global health goals. Liberal trade policies might increase food supplies but how these policies influence individual-level food insecurity remains uncertain. We aimed to assess the association between liberal trade policies and food insecurity at the individual level, and whether this association varies across country-income and household-income groups.
Insects are indispensable actors within global agri-food systems and ensure the delivery of myriad ecosystem services. A progressive decline in insect numbers — as inflicted by habitat loss, pollution or intensive agriculture — can jeopardize a sustained provisioning of those services. Though we routinely disregard how insects help meet multiple sustainable development challenges, a gradual insect decline can have grave, long-lasting consequences.
Tropical cropping systems are highly dependent on synthetic insecticides, which generates sustainability issues. We performed a bibliometric analysis of the current insecticide literature (2017–2019) and used the Sustainable Development Goals roadmap to identify research topics in insecticide research that should be promoted to attain sustainable cropping systems.
Termites are amongst the main macroinvertebrate decomposers in tropical ecosystems and they exert additional impacts through the creation of biostructures (mounds, galleries, sheetings, etc.) with different soil physical and chemical properties, thereby impacting positively on numerous ecosystem services for humankind. Unfortunately, this positive or ‘bright’ role of termites is often overshadowed by their ‘dark’ side, that is, their status as pests threatening agriculture and constructions.