From Fome Zero to Zero Hunger

A Global Perspective

image of From Fome Zero to Zero Hunger

This publication discusses the international Zero Hunger agenda in light of the achievements of the Fome Zero programme in Brazil. It revisits successful initiatives and discusses current actions, while also critically assessing new and growing challenges to the global food security agenda: obesity and climate change. Bringing together contributions from international experts, the book charts a path for translating political will into political action. The example of Brazil and the country’s Fome Zero programme have shown that a comprehensive approach to hunger, based on a multisectoral social protection agenda and strong political leadership, is the key to success. Building on this experience, the Zero Hunger Challenge, launched by the UN in 2012, has mobilized an unprecedented global commitment to end hunger worldwide. Five of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda address this issue. Tackled together, these goals can end hunger, eliminate all forms of malnutrition and build inclusive and sustainable food systems. Indeed, the goals will have to be met if countries are to eradicate poverty and pave the way to long-term sustainable growth. Time is passing and the current disturbing world hunger figures call for renewed efforts. Our present actions will be decisive in achieving a more equitable and sustainable world. This book provides an opportunity to recall the achievements realized so far and inspire our future efforts.



Sustainable agriculture and food systems: Towards a third agricultural revolution

In the post-war era, insufficient production of food was the major cause of food insecurity in the world. Not only was it considered urgent to increase available cropland, but increasing yields was also seen as a strategic priority. The intensification of crop production around the world began in earnest with the Green Revolution, often referred to as the Second Agricultural Revolution. Beginning in the 1950s and expanding through the 1960s, crop varieties and agricultural practices changed worldwide (Royal Society, 2009). The production model, which focused initially on the introduction of improved, higher-yielding varieties of wheat, rice and maize in high potential areas (Hazell, 2018 and Gollin et al., 2005), relied upon and promoted homogeneity: genetically uniform varieties grown with high levels of complementary inputs, such as irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides, which often led to depletion of agroecological resilience and hence natural capital (FAO, 2011b). Fertilizers replaced soil quality management, while herbicides provided an alternative to crop rotations or other means of controlling weeds (Tilman, 1998). The high growth in food production in Asia during the Green Revolution was due largely to the intensive use of mineral fertilization, along with improved germplasm and irrigation. World production of mineral fertilizers increased almost 350 percent between 1961 and 2002, from 33 million tonnes to 146 million tonnes (World Bank, 2007).


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