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Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa – Project Description

The convergence of the effects of the global financial crisis of 2007/08, climate change, and the growing demand for food and biofuels led to a sharp increase in global food prices, which have since remained historically high. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, this demonstrates that “the food systems we have inherited from the twentieth century have failed” [1]. In 2012, about 842 million people were still suffering from hunger, and about 2.5 billion individuals lacked the essential micronutrients that are needed for a healthy and active life [2]. Increasing food system productivity seems the most immediate response. However, there is growing consensus among scientists, experts, policymakers, and civil society groups that increasing agricultural productivity will not suffice to resolve the food crisis [3, 4]. In a 2010 Science article, Godfray et al. [5] point out that reducing hunger and malnutrition and feeding 9 billion people by 2050 requires a reorientation of global food policies. They need to be aligned with social and natural sciences concerned with food systems, and must go beyond just maximizing global food productivity: rather, the aim must be to optimize the complex interactions between food production, environmental impacts, and social justice outcomes. {Download the document to read more}

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