unctad.org | The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030
The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030
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About 795 million people, or every ninth person, is undernourished, with the majority living in developing countries and rural areas.

New, existing, and emerging technologies can address the four dimensions of food security. For example, genetic modification, methods for improving soil fertility, and irrigation technologies can increase food availability.

Post-harvest and agro-processing technologies can address food accessibility, biofortification can make food more nutritious, and climate-smart solutions anchored in science, technology and innovation (STI) - including the use of precision agriculture and early warning systems - can mitigate food instability.

New and emerging technologies, including synthetic biology, artificial intelligence and tissue engineering may have potential implications for the future of crop and livestock agriculture. However, harnessing the potential of such technologies for food security requires investments in research and development, human capital, infrastructure and knowledge flows.

Creating an environment for agricultural innovation also benefits from an enabling environment, gender-sensitive approaches to technology development and dissemination, regional and international collaboration, and technology foresight and assessment for agricultural innovations.

The report is divided into four sections.

Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the challenge of ensuring food security, highlighting the geography of food insecurity, specific socioeconomic, environmental and political challenges that exacerbate food insecurity, and the role of the Sustainable Development Goals in ensuring "Zero Hunger" by 2030.

Chapter 2 discusses how various scientific and technological applications can address the four dimensions of food security, namely availability, access, use/utilization and stability.

Chapter 3 explores how countries can reimagine their food systems as innovation systems with attention to the building of local innovative capabilities, enabling infrastructure for agricultural innovation, developing coherent policies and strengthening knowledge flows to facilitate technology dissemination.

Chapter 4 presents policy considerations and strategic recommendations for national Governments, the private sector, agricultural research institutions and other stakeholders.

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