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429. Resilience of the Food System Through Diversification

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The keyword of the time is diversity. In the food system, diversification of production at the field, farm household, and market levels has the potential to improve the resilience of the food system to shocks such as climate change, extreme weather events, and market disruptions.

An article on food system resilience through diversification has been published in Nature Food. Here is an overview.

Evidence suggests that diversification of production through diversification of crops and cropping systems not only builds resilience to climate change and increasingly extreme events, but can also positively affect crop yields by maintaining ecosystems rich in biodiversity. There is also evidence that maintaining biodiversity-rich ecosystems can positively affect crop yields. However, the extent to which production diversification contributes to food system resilience depends not only on the local natural environment (especially soil, climate, and geographic factors), but also on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions that define the existing agricultural system. There are ecological benefits of crop diversification, but the trade-offs of outweighing the economic costs of maintaining diversity also need to be considered. Policies are needed to support ecologically, economically, and socially appropriate, diverse, and sustainable production and farming systems and farming households.

Production risks may encourage farmers to diversify, while greater integration into markets may lead to specialization to increase household income. The relationship between production diversification and other food systems, such as dietary and market diversification, is not necessarily unitary. The food system modeling framework for assessing resilience, while still in need of improvement, can help us better understand the complex relationships between food, ecosystems, and society, and analyze the tradeoffs associated with diversification to improve food system resilience.

JIRCAS, in collaboration with the FAO Liaison Office in Japan and supported by the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), will host the Symposium Fruits and Vegetables– Research and Action Opportunities for Human and Planetary Health, as an official N4G side event.

Please register and join us!

Symposium: Fruits and Vegetables - Research and Opportunities for Human and Planetary Health
Program: https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/symposium/2021/e20211206 
Date & Time: December 6 (Mon), 2021 at 16:00-17:45 JST
Format: Online
Registration: Nov 15 (Mon) 09:00 - Dec 6 (Mon) 15:00 JST
URL: https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/symposium/2021/e20211206/entry

For inquiries, please contact the Information and Public Relations Office at:
Email: event-jircas@ml.affrc.go.jp
URL:  https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/form/inquiry

Hertel, T., Elouafi, I., Tanticharoen, M. et al. Diversification for enhanced food systems resilience. Nat Food 2, 832–834 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-021-00403-9

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Director, Information Program)