13 October 2020
Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger Project Develops 10 Key Recommendations
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Based on research using a machine-learning tool to analyze over 500,000 published reports and articles and economic modelling, the research project finds that an additional USD 14 billion per year until 2030 is needed to achieve SDG 2.

The researchers propose ten interventions organized around three focus areas: On the farm, Food on the move, and Empower the excluded.

The ‘Sustainable Solutions to End Hunger’ research project, which focused on providing donor governments with new tools to help them increase poor producer’s incomes while simultaneously protecting the climate and ending hunger, in line with SDG 2 (end hunger), has suggested undertaking interventions worth USD 14 billion on average each year.

The researchers divide the suggested interventions into three focus areas: 

  • On the farm—including training for farmers, developing climate-resilient crops, and improving livestock feed (USD 9 billion);
  • Food on the move—ensuring food can get from the farm to market, through investments in storage, transport, and other infrastructure (USD 2 billion); and 
  • Empower the excluded— measures to ensure the poorest are included, such as steps regarding social protection spending or training for rural youth (USD 3 billion).

This Ceres2030 project was led by Cornell University, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The researchers used two interlinked research approaches to develop their findings. The first involved the development of a machine-learning tool to analyze over 500,000 published reports and articles. This tool helped the team of 78 researchers from 23 countries to summarize the evidence from over 20 years of agricultural development literature. The second part of the research involved economic modelling. The researchers created a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to show how much it would cost to end hunger, increase incomes and protect the climate by 2030. 

The proposed additional USD 14 billion per year until 2030 would represent a doubling in the amount of aid currently given for food security and nutrition each year. The researchers note that it must be accompanied by an additional USD 19 billion a year from low- and middle-income countries’ own budgets.

The research findings support an integrated approach, recognizing that “agricultural interventions are more effective with a population that enjoys at least a minimum level of income, education, with access to networks and resources such as extension services and robust infrastructure.” The research also revealed that it is more effective to create integrated portfolios of interventions rather than to support improvements in isolation from one another.

Regarding women’s empowerment, the researchers indicate that the evidence base is sparse, due to the fact that only 10% of the papers reviewed considered gender differences in the outcomes of the interventions.

The researchers organize their 10 key recommendations for donor governments based on the three focus areas for interventions, as follows.

Empower the excluded:

  • Support participation in farmers’ organizations
  • Invest in vocational programs for rural youth that offer integrated-training in multiple skills
  • Scale up social protection programs to help create a bridge for people living in poverty to find productive jobs

On the Farm:

  • Invest in information and training, particularly for women, to increase the uptake of new technologies
  • Ensure new environmentally-friendly farming methods are also economically viable
  • Support the adoption of climate-resilient crops
  • Increase research on how to help small-scale producers in water-scarce regions
  • Target improvements in the quantity and quality of livestock feed to small and medium-sized commercial farms

Food on the Move:

  • To reduce post-harvest losses, look beyond the storage of cereals to also focus on other food groups and other parts of the food value chain
  • Invest in the infrastructure, regulations, services and technical assistance needed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that supply or buy from small-scale farmers

The findings from the review of literature were published by Nature Research in a new research collection of peer-reviewed journal articles. [Summary of Ceres 2030 research findings]

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