Every day, the food we eat connects us to a vast global web of farmers, traders, food manufacturers, retailers and many other people involved in getting food from farm to fork. Most of us probably don’t pause to think about it while biting into a piece of fruit or a slice of bread, but this global food system is central to some of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
The global food system is expected to provide safe and nutritious food to a population that will likely grow from 7.5 billion people today, to nearly 10 billion by 2050.
The agro-food sector also provides a livelihood for millions of people. Globally, most of the people living in extreme poverty are in rural areas where food production is often the most important economic activity. There are an estimated 570 million farms worldwide today, and millions of other people work in food-related jobs
The global food system also has a large environmental footprint. In fact, agriculture occupies nearly 40% of the earth’s surface, far more than any other human activity. In addition, irrigation of agricultural crops comprises 70% of global water use, and agriculture directly contributes to around 11% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (mostly through cattle). Expanding agricultural land can also lead to deforestation, additional GHG emissions, and a loss of biodiversity. (source: https://www.oecd.org/agriculture/key-challenges-agriculture-how-solve/)
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