How do we provide quality food to an increasing urban population? And how do we do this in such a way that the effects of climate change are mitigated, the environment is not damaged further and smallholder farmers are valued as key protagonists in sustainable urban food systems? These are some of the critical questions that Rikolto’s Food Smart Cities Cluster is trying to address.
- More than half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is projected to increase by 68% by 2050 (UN, Dep of Economic & Social Affairs, 2018), With current global trends in diets and population, 60% more food would be needed by 2050 (CCAFS/CGIAR)
- 70% of fresh water is used for agriculture. Soil quality and water resources are depleting.
- A third of all food produced for human consumption – about 1.3 billion tons of food a year – is wasted or lost globally. This is equivalent to 3.3 billion tons of carbon (FAO). If food waste were a country, it would be the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind the U.S. and China.
- Low prices and poverty are forcing farmers from the land. Young people are turning their backs on agriculture.
To keep up with the ever-growing world population in a changing climate, the food sector needs more stable supply chains to provide affordable food for all, today and tomorrow.