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Prelims Capsule

International Relations

United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 – Will zero hunger become a reality?

United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 – Will zero hunger become a reality?


  • GS 2 || International Relations || International Organizations || UN

Why in news?

In 2021, UN Food Systems Summit to boost ambition, deepen our understanding of the issues we must address, and chart a path to dramatically alter our food systems.

UN Food Systems Summit 2021:

  • The Food Systems Summit will be convened by the UN Secretary-General with the goal of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems strategy across the entire 2030 Agenda and solving climate change problems.
  • The Summit will raise global awareness, enhance our understanding of the problems we must tackle, and chart a plan to drastically alter the way we produce, process, and consume food over the next year. Rebuilding the world’s food systems allows us to respond to Secretary-General Ban Ki-challenge moon’s to “build back better” and “leave no one behind.”

Summit Objective:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of food systems to the whole sustainable development agenda, as well as the urgency of changing them, especially in the wake of a worldwide pandemic.
  • As a foundation for concerted action, align stakeholders around a common understanding and narrative of a food system framework, making food and food systems a more general problem for advocacy and action to accomplish the 2030 Agenda.
  • Recognize the importance of diversity and innovation in the governance and implementation of food systems;
  • Develop improved tools, measurement, and analysis to motivate and empower stakeholders who support food system transformation.
  • All communities, including governments, cities, enterprises, civil society, individuals, and food producers, must catalyze, accelerate, and expand courageous action for the transformation of food systems.

Zero Hunger Program:

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, and the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council will launch the program (BIRAC).
  • The relevant state governments will also be involved in the initiative, which will include the organization of a nutrition-focused farming system, the establishment of genetic gardens for biofortified plants/crops, and the start of a ‘Zero Hunger’ training.
  • The program will ensure that appropriate techniques for assessing the impact of interventions are in place. There will be an extensive training program to identify nutritional ailments in each district as well as the relevant agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry solutions.
  • This program will be implemented in addition to the government’s plans to address malnutrition through a variety of other programs as part of its objective to eliminate malnutrition in India by 2022.

Challenges in Combating Zero Hunger:

  • Multiculturalism is on the decline: Global hunger challenges are cross-domain but also cross-national in nature, necessitating stronger global cooperation to succeed. However, as the importance of cross-national and global concerns has grown, country states have been less eager to cooperate and collaborate in addressing them.
  • Inter-Linked Challenges: Food, energy, and water security are all intertwined challenges with strong feedback loops. Food security may be harmed as a result of increased water and energy security. It will also have a negative influence on public health.
  • Climate Change: Climate change is a significant and serious danger to agrobiodiversity, with implications ranging from production to livelihoods across food and farming systems.
    • Soil deterioration, quick depletion of the groundwater table, and rapid loss of agro-biodiversity are all consequences of intensified food production systems with excessive use of pesticides and unsustainable farming techniques.
  • 100% access to adequate food all year round: Providing nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food systems, marketing, decent and productive work, a social protection floor, targeted safety nets, and food aid to all people at all times.
  • Zero stunted children less than 2 years: Providing universal access to nutritious meals throughout the 1000-day window between conception and a child’s second birthday, backed up with nutrition-sensitive health care.
  • All food systems are sustainable:Ensuring that all farmers, agribusinesses, cooperatives, governments, unions and civil society establish standards for sustainability.
  • 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income: Encourage respectable labor and increase smallholder income to reduce rural poverty and improve welfare.
  • Zero loss or waste of food: Minimizing food losses during storage and transport, and waste of food by retailers and consumers

What can be done to achieve zero hunger?

  • Increasing Agricultural Productivity: Agricultural productivity has increased dramatically in recent decades, but more than two billion people throughout the world still lack access to enough nutritious and secure food. As a result, collaboration among global players is required to achieve zero hunger by 2030 (SDG 2).
  • Global Cooperation is required: Global solidarity is required to assist all populations, particularly the most vulnerable, in recovering from the crisis and strengthening food systems.
    • Clearly, without a bigger commitment from the major countries, feeding the millions of people who are starving due to violence and failed crops would be a challenging task. As a result, a worldwide fund, similar to the UNFCCC’s Green Climate Fund, is required.
  • Food System Approach adoption: The Food System Approach is a framework that encompasses all aspects of feeding and nourishing people, from producing, harvesting, and processing through packaging, transporting, marketing, and consuming food. A food system must be able to supply enough nutritious food for everyone without jeopardizing the ability to feed future generations in order to be sustainable.


The 2021 Food Systems Summit, by achieving these goals, will allow us to reflect on our choices and be bold in the outcomes we seek throughout the Decade of Action, putting the globe on a new trajectory within a generation. Governments, the commercial sector, civic society, and local communities all have a role to play in changing our food systems. So that mankind can endure rising volatility and climatic shocks, supply all people with affordable and sustainable healthful diets, and ensure decent livelihoods for food chain workers. As a result, countries must work together to ensure that our food systems feed a growing population while also sustaining the planet.

Mains oriented question:

To achieve zero hunger by 2030, we must be committed to reducing carbon emissions as soon as possible and avoiding the negative effects of catastrophic climatic disasters on agriculture. Discuss. (250 words)