The Global Food Policy Report 2017, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), provides an in-depth analysis of the challenges and opportunities rapid urbanization represents for food security and nutrition.
Challenges include increasing pressures on the global food system from population growth, urbanization and environmental stress, as well as the simultaneous rise of hunger, malnutrition and overnutrition in urban areas.
According to the report, opportunities can be unlocked through enhanced rural-urban linkages, including through policy coordination across jurisdictions and investments in physical, political and social connections between rural and urban communities.
27 March 2017: Rapid urbanization is creating new challenges and opportunities for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 that aims to end hunger, according to the Global Food Policy Report 2017, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The report provides an in-depth analysis of the impacts of rapid urbanization, such as the rising co-existence of hunger, malnutrition and obesity in urban areas, as well as approaches to overcoming these challenges through improved rural-urban linkages.
The publication’s chapters explore the issue from multiple perspectives, looking into: the state of food security and nutrition in an urbanizing world; integrating smallholders through strengthened rural-urban linkages; challenges for food security and nutrition arising in growing cities; urbanization and the nutrition transition; the impact of cities on agricultural value chains; and the governance of informal food markets in African cities.
The document highlights achievements towards food security in 2016, including reduced global rates in extreme poverty and malnutrition, increased commitments by the international community, including financial commitments, and progress in many countries. It also discusses mounting pressures on the global food system from population growth, urbanization, environmental degradation, climate change and extreme weather events.
The IFPRI report discusses the rising “triple nutrition” burden in urban areas – the simultaneous increase of hunger, malnutrition and overnutrition – leading to increased rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
With regard to urbanization, the study explains that many problems related to malnutrition, such as micro-nutrient deficiencies or child undernutrition, are “moving to the cities,” while urbanization is also accelerating the “nutrition transition” towards consumption of animal-source foods, sugar, fats, oils, salt and processed foods. This results in a rising “triple nutrition” burden in urban areas – the simultaneous increase of hunger, malnutrition and overnutrition – leading to increased rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Some of these challenges can be overcome by enhancing rural-urban linkages, including improving physical, economic, social and political connections between rural producers and urban consumers. The report outlines policy options and measures to do so, including: improving policy coordination across jurisdictions; strengthening value chains; leveraging small and intermediate cities; making critical infrastructure, health and education investments; and promoting social protection.
The report also reviews regional developments and updates major food policy indicators, including the Global Hunger Index (GHI), the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI); and the Food Policy Research Capacity Indicators (FPRCI).
The publication was launched at a special event held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). Speakers highlighted the multiple benefits of rebuilding value chains across the rural-urban nexus and the benefits of creating opportunities for non-farm employment in rural areas when leveraging the mediating role of small and medium sized cities. In a press release on the report launch, Bioversity International highlighted some of its activities to enhance rural urban linkages: specifically a project to increase the production of fresh produce in the outskirts of major African cities; and work towards improved integration of informal food markets in urban planning in Viet Nam.
The Global Food Policy Report 2017 was produced by IFPRI with contributions from FAO, Bioversity International and other partners. IFPRI and Bioversity International are members of the CGIAR Consortium. [Global Food Policy Report 2017] [Report Website] [Report Synopsis] [Bioversity International Press Release] [FAO Press Release] [UN Press Release] [Webcast of Launch Event]