‘Bring natural processes to farm systems’

Total food security could become increasingly difficult to achieve in the long term unless governments across the world bring in more natural processes to agricultural systems. A report released by the United Nations Environment Programme says that safeguarding our ecological systems will be imperative if food security is to be achieved for nine billion people by 2050.
The UNEP launched its report “Avoiding Future Famines” on World Food Day on Tuesday on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The report pointed out that an inefficient food supply chain was resulting in the loss of about 1.3 billion tonnes of foodgrains every year.
Most importantly, the report said that food production activities are destroying biodiversity. Fertiliser run-off, tilling to greater depths and deforestation were some of the factors affecting biodiversity negatively.
The UNEP report identified several existing threats to agriculture and fisheries. Agriculture provides about 90 per cent of the world’s calorie intake while fisheries account for the rest. Competition for water and climate change were the two big threats to agriculture. Fisheries faced the threats of overfishing, loss of coastal habitat, and industrial run-off.
A report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation had said that as much as 53 per cent of the world’s marine fish stocks were overexploited. The UNEP report also says that about 40 per cent of the coral reefs of the world and 35 per cent of the mangrove forests have already been lost.

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