Rethinking agri-food systems to empower the agricultural sector

The coronavirus pandemic affected the goals of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and therefore food systems must be rethought and adapted to this new economic and social stage.

Impact of Covid-19 on agriculture

Luiselli, researcher at the University Program for Development Studies at UNAM and member of the Advisory Council of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for Food Security in the Americas, highlighted the role played by small cities linked to rural areas, climate change and the appearance of zoonoses, such as es COVID-19, with significant impacts on territories and food systems.

"The urban and the rural are increasingly undifferentiated, they are intertwined, which forces to generate new public policies well thought out and adapted to the changes that have not yet finished taking place," he said.

Agro support

The researcher explained that rural territories also have other affronts such as the continuous erosion of biodiversity, the impoverishment of soils and generalized water stress with a growing population and urbanization, with the consequent demand for food and water.

Therefore, he said, hehe agriculture is the heart of food systems and must be supported with public policies that improve productivity and cover cross-cutting issues to unleash their potential.

Public policies

The COVID-19 crisis There is an urgent need for institutional reforms for the governance of food systems, with support for public and private producers in which the provision of public goods such as health (plant and animal) and rural infrastructure is essential.

Systemic extensionism, Luiselli added, is essential to accompany the entire chain of food systems. In addition, he proposed the application of direct subsidies to people in food vulnerability, both financial and fiscal, and with the endowment of food.

The IICA Representative in Mexico, Diego Montenegro, highlighted that the difficult situation the world is experiencing due to COVID-19 It requires renewed agri-food systems and the promotion of localized agri-food systems (SIAL), more inclusive and intelligent, and new development dynamics in rural territories.

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