Global Agriculture

FAO’s Regional Foresight Exercise is Vital to Address Europe and Central Asia’s Agrifood Systems’ Vulnerabilities

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17 May 2024, Rome: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today urged FAO Members in Europe and Central Asia to discuss strategies and policy options to transform agrifood systems so that they can feed into a regional foresight exercise for the region.

Speaking at a side event of the 34th Session of the Regional Conference for Europe, Qu stressed the importance of strategic foresight exercises as an essential approach to better understand the possibilities of different future scenarios.

“It is important to recognise that any meaningful progress comes from embracing innovation, not just scientific and technological innovation, but social, psychological, cultural innovation too,” the Director-General said in his opening remarks to decision makers and partners. “At FAO we provide the means for the countries we serve to embrace such innovation. But it is up to you to really take advantage of our work. We are here to serve you and, through you, the world.” 

As The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) Report in 2023 projected, 600 million people may still be suffering from hunger in 2030, and 150 million more people are suffering from hunger today than in 2015, when the journey towards the 2030 Agenda started. In such a context, investigating in-depth the different futures is crucial to empowering us to face growing global challenges.

FAO believes strategic foresight exercises allow the organizations and its Members to adopt a long-term approach to problems, challenges, and solutions, thus encouraging anticipated actions to ensure the sustainability and resilience of agrifood systems.

Today’s side event titled Foresight drivers and triggers relevant to the Europe and Central Asia Region  was structured as a strategic policy simulation where participants tackled both short-term and long-term challenges that governments in the region are currently confronting. During the simulation, participants navigated a series of events, actions, and reactions, making decisions based on their internal strategies and the behaviours of other participants.

The Regional Foresight Exercise being undertaken for Europe and Central Asia benefits from the FAO report on “The future of food and agriculture – Drivers and Triggers for transformation” that has identified a number of region- and subregion-specific priorities that are the driving forces of agrifood systems and deserve further analyses.

  • These include:
  • Economic growth, structural transformation and the macro-economic outlook;
  • Cross country inter-dependencies;
  • Geopolitical instability and increasing conflicts;
  • Innovation and science; public investment in agrifood systems;
  • Consumption and nutrition patterns; and
  • Climate change.

FAO is committed to further strengthening strategic foresight exercises to support all Members to achieve the “four betters” – better production, better environment, better nutrition and a better life for all. In this regard, FAO collects reliable data, information and intelligence from around the world through corporate strategic foresight exercises at the global and regional levels.

FAO’s role

FAO is actively conducting foresight activities across multiple levels—corporate, regional, subregional, and national—to transform agrifood systems. These activities are guided by methodologies outlined in FAO’s recent flagship report, The Future of Food and Agriculture – Drivers and Triggers for Transformation. Within this overarching framework, Regional Foresight Exercises are being implemented across all five regions.

These exercises provide a detailed assessment of the dynamic interactions among agrifood, socioeconomic, and environmental systems within each region. They explore key driving forces of agrifood systems, detect “weak signals” that might indicate possible futures, and develop narrative scenarios for alternative futures based on these signals. Additionally, the exercises identify longstanding regional challenges, pinpoint “triggers for transformation” that have significant potential to revolutionize agrifood systems and outline strategic options and policies to leverage these key triggers for substantial change.

This approach helps in crafting robust strategies aiming for better production, environment, nutrition, and ultimately a better life for all. Through global and regional strategic foresight exercises, FAO gathers and utilizes data and intelligence from around the world, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing food security and resilience across nations.

Also Read: Farmer Associations’ Report reveals 300 percent surge in Agriculture Budget Allocation over past 9 Years

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

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