Food security. On July 14, the General Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, recommended advancing in a digitization process that allows effective action to be taken in preventing the food emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19. In this way, he stressed that FAO should conduct a more comprehensive technological modernization process, applied to products from the agribusiness sector, to meet challenges in food and agriculture. It is expected that in the coming months the body will offer its technical knowledge so that the different governments of the region can develop public policies to improve the use of resources, both at the local production level and in preventing food waste.
Dongyu said that the UN body has multiple challenges in terms of food and agriculture, so he considered it necessary to innovate and “reimage our way of life in order to rebuild a better world.” This modernization process involves a more comprehensive technological perspective applied to products in the agricultural sector. “FAO must be an efficient organization, capable of adapting to emerging challenges; may it take advantage of new investment opportunities and digital technologies, which are essential to boost productivity and reduce food waste,” he added.
According to the official, the pandemic forces the establishment of partnerships and the act of working together to introduce new mechanisms and faster ways to interact, especially with the most vulnerable sectors. In addition, he stressed the need to open up to the private sector, work on new synergies, and manage to coordinate efforts at the national and regional levels with other UN agencies.
Dongyu proposes to test a bottom-up response to the food emergency, focusing on those who have experience and work in the sector. To do so, the FAO proposal consists of a response plan focused on seven priority areas: data for decision-making; economic inclusion and social protection to reduce poverty; trade and food safety standards; boosting the resilience of small producers; strengthening the One Health approach to prevent a new pandemic; and transformation of food systems through the Global Humanitarian Response Plan.