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.

Although numbers are still low compared to cattle rearing, intensive dairy goat farms have been widely spreading in the Italian livestock systems. Since goats are quite rustic, they can easily adapt to different management practices; however, improving the efficiency can make the difference, both in productivity and on the environmental impact attributed to goat milk production. In the present study, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach was used to quantify the potential environmental impact of goat milk production system in 17 farms in Lombardy (Northern Italy).

Soil and water salinity and associated problems are a major challenge for global food production. Strategies to cope with salinity include a better understanding of the impacts of temporal and spatial dynamics of salinity on soil water balances vis-à-vis evapotranspiration (ET) and devising optimal irrigation schedules and efficient methods. Both steady state and transient models are now available for predicting salinity effects on reduction of crop growth and means for its optimization.

Elucidating relationships between the soil food web, soil processes, and agroecosystem function is a critical step toward a more sustainable agriculture. Soil and crop management practices can alter these relationships, and their effects can persist even after imposing new management practices. In 2005, the Cornell Organic Grain Cropping Systems Experiment was established in central New York. Four cropping systems that varied in fertilizer inputs, tillage practices, and weed control were compared: High Fertility, Low Fertility, Enhanced Weed Management, Reduced Tillage.


Trends in Food Science and Technology, Volume 95, January 2020

Background: Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients, with numerous health benefits. Most consumers are not meeting the daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. Yet, a significant amount of fruits and vegetables that is produced is wasted. There are opportunities to recover the wasted fruits and vegetables for manufacturing value-added products to improve the sustainability of healthy diets and reduce the environmental footprint.


The Lancet Global Health, Volume 8, January 2020

An Article in support of SDGs 2 and 12, analysing the affordability of the EAT–Lancet benchmark diets using food price and household income data for 744 foods in 159 countries, collected under the International Comparison Program.
This chapter advances goals 2, 3 and 5 by examining indigenous traditional food-growing techniques and their role in sustainable farming. It advocates for more study and support for these techniques and innovations which are mostly driven by local women.

Agricultural Internet of Things and Decision Support for Precision Smart Farming, 2020, Pages 1-33

This chapter explores how using technology and precision farming can improve yields while protecting the earth's resources, advancing SDGs 2 and 12.
This book chapter addresses goals 7, 9, and 13 by reviewing the prospects and constraints for bioenergy development in Africa to ensure sustainable bioenergy production in the future.

Current Opinion in Food Science, Volume 30, December 2019

Enteric viruses are an important food safety concern and have been associated with many foodborne disease outbreaks. Norovirus and Hepatitis A virus have been implicated in majority of outbreaks; however, other foodborne viruses such as Hepatitis E virus, Sapovirus and Rotavirus can also present a risk to humans. Viral foodborne disease outbreaks have typically been associated with foods served raw including shellfish, fruits and vegetables. The contamination of food by viruses can occur anywhere in the supply chain.

This case study uses survey and satellite data to help better protect those working in agriculture in Kenya and Tanzania against drought and climate change, helping to advance SDG 2 and 13.