Global agri-food systems, still suffering from the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic, must immediately prepare for new futures "crashes", such as droughts, floods or various diseases, the FAO warned on Tuesday.
Currently, there are already some "three billion people who cannot afford to eat a healthy diet that protects them from malnutrition", highlights. Others "One billion more people would be at risk of not being able to afford healthy eating if a sudden shock reduced their income by a third", according to calculations by economists from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) included in a report.
The 2021 edition of this report dedicated to "The world food and agriculture situation"It also underlines the importance of communication channels. "If critical transport routes were interrupted by a ‘crash’, the cost of food could rise for 845 million people"warns the Rome-based body.
The covid-19 pandemic "has clearly highlighted the fragility of global agri-food systems", says Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General, in the foreword to this text.
These systems include both production and food supply chains, internal transport networks and consumption.
In a previous report, in July, the agency calculated that between 720 and 811 million people were affected by hunger in 2020, that is, about 161 million more than in 2019, "an increase mainly due to the pandemic".
To enable countries to become aware of the vulnerability of their food systems to shocks and situations of "stress" chronic, FAO has implemented several indicators of "resilience". Since in an uncertain context, "the ability to withstand shocks and stressful situations and then recover is essential", he points out.
These indicators make it possible to analyze the domestic production of the countries, the extent of their commercial exchanges, the transportation systems they have and the access of their population to a healthy diet.
Countries are invited to "identify your weak points" using these tools, and trying to remedy them, explains Andrea Cattaneo, chief economist and coordinator of the publication, to AFP.