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.

Elsevier,

Agricultural Systems (Second Edition), Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development, 2017, Pages 33-72

This book chapter addresses goals 11, 15, 12 and 13 by examining the ecological principles that provide a foundation for resilient and sustainable agriculture that supports rural livelihoods.
Maize growing under plastic

Critics claim that maize can cause unwanted environmental impacts. But supporters of the crop are able to show how by use of cover crops it can be grown responsibly, reducing or eliminating, for example, nutrient leaching and soil erosion. In south-west England, a Wessex Water project is using cover crops to protect and improve drinking water quality by working with growers whose farms surround boreholes and reservoirs that supply water for human consumption. Steps like this can contribute to SDG 6 to ensure sustainable management of water and SDG 12 to ensure sustainable production.

Global food security is a priority for the future development agenda of the United Nations. Given the high dependence of the modern global food production system on the continuous supply of commercial phosphorus (P) fertilizers, the goal of achieving global food security could be hampered by any form of paucity of the global P resource. P is a finite, non-substitutable, non-renewable, and geographically restricted resource. The anthropogenic influences on this critical resource are likely to pose a number of challenges to its sustainability.
This chapter considers the developments in agricultural technology required to fully achieve SDG 2 (zero hunger) can sometimes be detrimental to the environment. Climate smart technologies are needed.
The Blueprint for Business Leadership on the SDGs aims to inspire all business — regardless of size, sector or geography — to take leading action in support of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It illustrates how the five leadership qualities of Ambition, Collaboration, Accountability, Consistency, and Intentional can be applied to a business' strategy, business model, products, supply chain, partnerships, and operations to raise the bar and create impact at scale. The Blueprint is a tool for any business that is ready to advance its principled approach to SDG action to become a leader. This chapter relates specifically to SDG 2.
Elsevier, Chem, Volume 1, 1 December 2016
Professor Paul T. Anastas holds the Teresa and H. John Heinz II Chair in Chemistry for the Environment at Yale University and serves as director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale. He has published widely on the subject of green chemistry and has served in the administration of three US presidents. Professor Julie Zimmerman is an internationally recognized engineer whose work is focused on advancing innovations in sustainable technologies.
Elsevier, Marine Policy, Volume 74, 1 December 2016
Changing forms of seafood consumption in China hold immense significance for the marine ecosystems that supply this market, and are a fundamentally important challenge to address for global environmental sustainability. Drawing on recent findings from extensive ethnographic and survey research with seafood traders and consumers in China, this paper analyses policies for improving sustainable seafood consumption in China.
Elsevier,

Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Volume 20, 1 December 2016

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. These cities aim mobilize all knowledge centers and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into innovation hubs in order to strengthen the socio-economic progress.

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.

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