Rome, 13 January 2023 — Ahead of the annual gathering of world leaders in Davos next week, Alvaro Lario, President of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), warns of the urgent need to invest at speed and scale in long-term rural development to prevent recurring food crises and end hunger and poverty.
“We cannot continue to go from food crisis to food crisis. We should not have to see countries experiencing acute food insecurity over and over again. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. We must take immediate and concrete actions to strengthen our failing food systems – this requires strong commitment and bold investment,” said Lario.
At Davos, Lario will be calling for a massive scale-up of investments in agriculture, and long-term rural development from governments, investors and private companies with the view to ensure nutritional security and food sovereignty, an issue that has become critical for developing countries. At least an additional US$30 billion per year in investments are needed according to pre-COVID19 estimates, now the costs are even higher.
“Only long-term investments in rural economies can provide long-lasting solutions to hunger, under-nutrition and poverty. This is what will enable small-scale farmers to increase local production, better adapt to climate change, build short and local food chains, build and sustain local markets and commercial opportunities, and create small rural businesses. This approach makes a lot of economic sense,” said the IFAD President.
According to World Bank research, growth in agriculture is two to four times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other sectors.
Today, the world is experiencing an unprecedented food crisis due to the convergence of high food, energy and fertilizer prices linked to the war in Ukraine, and several climate shocks. Key drivers of hunger remain conflict, climate change and the economic slowdown and difficult…