Pick Up

204. The Year 2020 in Retrospect

Related Research Program
Information Analysis


Thank you for visiting this Pick Up site in 2020. One of the missions of JIRCAS is to collect, analyze and provide information for grasping trends in the international agriculture, forestry and fisheries industry. This is the 204th article in the Pick Up project that started in early March this year. In 2020, there were many events that supported the need for timely information gathering and provision, such as the desert locust infestation in East Africa for the first time in 70 years, the expansion of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the frequent occurrence of extreme weather conditions due to climate change, and the global trends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions etc.

In particular, COVID-19 not only highlighted the role of the global food system as a risk transmission channel, but also the anthropogenic economic activity surrounding the global food system has undermined the health of humankind and the earth. It also showed the urgency of an analysis that presents strategic directions for technological development and intervention from the perspective of avoiding climate change and biodiversity loss and ensuring global food and nutrition security.

A paper published in Nature Food in December 2020 states that research on food supply shocks has focused primarily on maize, rice and wheat, on agricultural production, and extreme rainfall and temperatures. It also underlines the need to expand research into the full food basket, sources of environmental variability (climate, soil nutrients, water cycle, complex disturbing factors including not only extreme weather but also transboundary pests etc.), and the links connecting food production to consumption and nutrition.

The year 2020 is also the 50th anniversary of the founding of JIRCAS, and this issue was tackled at the international symposium on “The role of international collaboration in agricultural research to address challenges in the post-COVID-19 global food system”.

In 2021, we would like to continue to provide the latest information and comprehensive analysis on international agriculture, forestry and fisheries research. Pick Up is scheduled to resume on January 4th in 2021.


Kyle Frankel Davis et al. Towards food supply chain resilience to environmental shocks, Nature Food (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s43016-020-00196-3



Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Research Strategy Office)