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A Sustainability Challenge: Food Security for All Report of Two Workshops Committee on Food Security for All as a Sustainability Challenge Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Policy and Global Affairs
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report and the workshops on which it was based were supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Science. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-22263-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-22263-X Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON FOOD SECURITY FOR ALL AS A SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE Per Pinstrup-Andersen (Chair), H. E. Babcock Professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy, J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Applied Economics, Cornell University Mike Bushell, Principal Scientific Adviser, Syngenta, Jealott’s Hill International Research Center Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Market Transformation, World Wildlife Fund Bert Drake, Plant Physiologist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (retired) William (Bill) Jury, Distinguished Professor, Soil Physics and Soil Physicist, Emeritus, University of California, Riverside Philip Pardey, Professor of Science and Technology Policy, Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota Jules Pretty, Professor of Environment and Society and Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Essex Marie Ruel, Director, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, International Food Policy Research Institute Emmy B. Simmons, Former Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, U.S. Agency for International Development (retired) Kostas Stamoulis, Director, Agricultural Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Dennis Treacy, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer, Smithfield Food, Inc. Laurian Unnevehr, Director, Food Economics Division, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Paul Vlek, Professor and Director, Department of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Center for Development Research, University of Bonn Staff Marina Moses, Director, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Pat Koshel, Senior Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Emi Kameyama, Program Associate, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Jennifer Saunders, Program Officer, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Dylan Richmond, Research Assistant, Science and Technology for Sustainability Program v
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PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To follow up on discussions held by the National Research Council’s Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, an ad hoc committee of experts was appointed to organize two workshops to address the sustainability challenges associated with providing food security for all. The first workshop, Measuring Food Insecurity and Assessing the Sustainability of Global Food Systems, examined the empirical basis for past trends, the current situation, and projections for the future. The second workshop, Exploring Sustainable Solutions for Increasing Global Food Supplies, explored a set of issues fundamental to assuring that food supplies can be increased to meet the needs of the world’s growing population—now expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050. The issues addressed during the workshops were timely, as food security and agricultural development have become priority topics for the international leaders meeting regularly at the Group of Twenty (G-20) as well as critical elements in the United Nations climate change negotiations launched in Copenhagen in 2009. In February 2011, the committee hosted the first workshop to review commonly used indicators for food security and malnutrition, poverty, and natural resources and agricultural productivity. The overarching objective of the first workshop was to contribute to the global effort towards sustainable food security through the improvement of indicators used to assess and monitor progress. The workshop offered an opportunity for dialogue among a small group of experts, including those responsible for key indicators of food security, key critics of those metrics, end users, and planning committee members. The workshop also sought to analyze methodological strengths and weaknesses and to discuss priorities for improving our understanding of the dimensions (quantitative, qualitative, and geographical) of the issues. The second workshop, held in May 2011, was designed to identify the major challenges and opportunities for change associated with achieving sustainable food security and identifying needed policy, science, and governance interventions. Estimates made by the United Nations predict that the world population will increase to 9.3 billion by 20501 and 70 percent more food will be required, posing a global sustainability challenge. While sustainable food security for all depends both on food supplies and assuring access to food, the second workshop focused specifically on assuring the availability of adequate food supplies. Workshop participants were asked to examine long term natural resource constraints, specifically water, land and forests, soils, biodiversity and fisheries. They also discussed the role of knowledge, technology, modern production practices, and infrastructure in supporting expanded agricultural production and the significant risks to future productivity due to changes in the climate. This report has been prepared by the committee as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshops, and the statements made do not necessarily represent positions of the workshops’ 1 New UN population estimates (for 2010) were released just at the time of our workshop. These new estimates suggested that by the end of the century the global population could reach 10.1 billion and 9.3 billion by 2050. See World Population Prospects 2010. Available at http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Other- Information/Press_Release_WPP2010.pdf. Accessed on October 1, 2011. vii
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participants as a whole, the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program, or the National Academies. The workshops and report could not have come together without the help of many dedicated staff members. Pat Koshel and Emi Kameyama directed the project and coordinated the report. Marina Moses provided oversight. Jennifer Saunders and Dylan Richmond provided invaluable support and assistance with our two workshops and in preparing the final report. This report is the result of substantial effort and collaboration among several organizations and individuals. We wish to extend a sincere thanks to each member of the planning committee for his/her contributions in scoping, developing, and carrying out this project. The project was made possible by financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It also benefitted from the National Academies’ internal support, provided by the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Science. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. I wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Chris Barrett, Cornell University; Yurie Tanimichi Hoberg, The World Bank; Daniel Maxwell, Tufts University; Lynnette Neufeld, Micronutrient Initiative; and Sanjay Reddy, The New School for Social Research for Part I of the report; and William Easterling, The Pennsylvania State University; Keith Fuglie, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Brian Greenberg, InterAction; George Hornberger, Vanderbilt University; Rattan Lal, The Ohio State University; and Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners for Part II of the report. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Chair Committee on a Study of Food Security for All as A Sustainability Challenge viii
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CONTENTS Overview 1 PART I: MEASURING FOOD INSECURITY AND ASSESSING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF GLOBAL FOOD SYSTEMS. WORKSHOP ONE INTRODUCTION 7 1. METRICS FOR FOOD INSECURITY AND MALNUTRITION 11 What Do We Really Know? Metrics for Food Insecurity and Malnutrition 11 Food Consumption Indicators: FAO Chronic Hunger Indicator 14 FAO Undernourishment Indicator: Strengths and Weaknesses 17 Outcome Indicators: Measures of Malnutrition 18 Measures of Overnutrition and Obesity 21 General Discussion 22 Other Comments 24 References 25 2. MEASURES OF GLOBAL POVERTY 27 Measures of National and Global Poverty and Their Use in Policy Making: World Bank Poverty Measures 27 Oxford Multidimensional Index 29 Panel Discussion 30 3. NATURAL RESOURCES AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY 33 Measuring Agricultural Productivity and Natural Assets 33 Approaches for Measuring Productivity 33 Expanding Agricultural Productivity Measures and Linking To Ecosystem Services – A Spatially Explicit Approach 36 Measuring Productivity and Natural Assets: Measuring And Valuing Natural Assets 37 Water, Agricultural Productivity, and Environmental Services 39 General Discussion 40 Composite Indicators for Sustainable Production 40 ix
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Overview of Metrics and Indicators, Different Approaches, and Strengths and Weaknesses 41 Industry Perspective on Use of Metrics 43 Experience on Gathering Meaningful Data for Life Cycle Analyses: The BASF Eco- Efficiency Tool in Indian Agriculture 46 Food Security and the Environment 48 Food Security and the Environment: Food Security and Land Cropping Potential 48 The Energy and Carbon Conundrum in Sustainable Agricultural Production 50 Food Security and the Environment: Animal Protein Production Impacts and Trends 52 General Discussion 55 References 56 4. THE WAY FORWARD 59 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 63 WORKSHOP AGENDA 71 WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS 77 SPEAKER BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION 79 ANNEXES A Background Paper: What do We Really Know? Metrics for Food Insecurity and Malnutrition. Hartwig de Haen, Stephan Klasen, and Matin Qaim 87 B Brief Description of Various Household Surveys cited in the Report 125 PART II: EXPLORING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING GLOBAL FOOD SUPPLIES. WORKSHOP TWO INTRODUCTION 127 1. ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES 131 Current and Expected Future Food and Nutrition Security 131 Agricultural Productivity and Natural Resource Endowments 135 Are New Paradigms Needed for Sustainable Food Security in the Face of Uncertainties and Risks? 138 General Discussion 141 Water for A Food-Secure World 141 Land Degradation and Sustainable Food Production: Sub-Saharan Africa 144 x
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Global Seafood—Fisheries and Aquaculture 146 Producing More Food and More Biodiversity: Is There Potential for Both? 149 Soil Quality Of Tropical Africa: An Essential Element of Improved Agricultural Productivity 151 General Discussion 153 Food Security, Farming and Climate Change to 2050 Scenarios: Results and Policy Options 153 Risks and Vulnerabilities from Climate Change 157 General Discussion 159 References 160 2. APPROACHES TO ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY 165 Farm-Level Sustainable Intensification 165 Food Value Chains Leading to Sustainable Intensification 168 Ecosystem Management 170 General Discussion 172 Reduction of Yield Gaps to Increase Productivity and Sustainability 172 Energy Efficiency and Food Security for All--The Impact of Fertilizer 176 General Discussion 180 Private Investment and Farm Size Issues 180 Losses and Waste in the Food Supply Chain 183 General Discussion 184 Global Governance of Natural Resources: Quantity vs. Quality 185 Global Public Goods: Food Safety 188 General Discussion 189 References 190 3. POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND INSTITUTIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS 195 Externalities: The Costs of Natural Resource Degradation 195 Political Economy Issues, Priorities and Political Will 198 Incentives and Limitations to Action by Civil Society 199 Incentives and Limitations to Action by the Private Sector 202 Panel: Confront Trade-Offs, Remove National and International Externalities, Seek Multiple Wins, and Establish Coalitions and Partnerships 206 General Discussion 209 References 210 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 213 WORKSHOP AGENDA 223 WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS 229 SPEAKER BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION 233 xi
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APPENDIXES A Committee Biographical Information 243 B Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and Roster of Members 249 xii