Pick Up

377. Food Systems Transformation: Seven Priorities to Improve Nutrition and Save the Planet

Related Research Program


The Scientific Group for the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 (UNFSS) proposes the key roles that scientists should take to accelerate the transformation to healthier, more sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems. In advance of the UNFSS to be held on September 23, 2021, Professor von Braun, Chair of the UNFSS Scientific Group, and his colleagues published an article titled Food systems: seven priorities end hunger and protect the planet, providing an overview on how the the United Nations should harness science and technology to improve nutrition and protect the environment. 

The seven priorities are as follows:

  • End hunger and improve diets: Enhancing R&D for sustainable agricultural productivity, reduction of food waste and losses, adding income and nutrition in social protection programs, etc.
  • De-risk food systems: Understand, monitor, analyze and communicate new risks to the food systems; building forecasting and insurance systems, etc.
  • Protect equality and rights: Protection and guarantee of the rights of vulnerable social groups such as smallholder farmers and women.
  • Boost bioscience. Restoring soil health, improve efficiency cropping, breeding, carbon sequestration in soil and biosphere, application of genetic engineering to improve productivity and quality and accelerate development of pest-resistant crops, and address issues of intellectual property rights, skills, and data sharing for biotechnology applications.
  • Protect resources: Use of digital tools, remote sensing, AI, drones etc. for sustainable conservation of soil and water resources, accelerating the use biodiversity and genetic resource that contribute to climate change response and nutrition improvement.
  • Sustain aquatic foods: Utilization of aquatic resources in terms of nutrition and environment, etc.
  • Harness digital technology: Use of robots, sensors, and AI in production, food safety, and other areas, and consideration for broad distribution of benefits.

Joachim von Braun, Kaosar Afsana, Louise O. Fresco & Mohamed Hassan, Food systems: seven priorities to end hunger and protect the planet. Here’s how the United Nations should harness science and technology to improve nutrition. COMMENT 30 August 2021 Nature 597, 28-30 doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-02331-x

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)

Related Pages