Moving towards sustainable agri-food systems: analysis and strategic scenarios | CDP

Moving towards sustainable agri-food systems: analysis and strategic scenarios

Representatives from Public Development Banks around the world came together at the Finance in Common Summit (FiCS) to discuss the crucial topic of sustainable agriculture. What are the main challenges and opportunities for sustainable food systems? How can growing digitisation contribute to reducing environmental impact without increasing inequalities? What role might finance and Public Development Banks play? These and other questions are at the heart of our Think Tank’s new report presented during the FiCS, which includes a preface by Andrea Montanino, Laura Recagno and Pasquale Rossi and three papers prepared by leading representatives of universities and research centres (Martin Kenney - UC Davis California, Rob Vos - International Food Policy Research Institute, Laura Viganò - University of Bergamo).

Read the key message and download the report for further information.

  • The global population is set to increase by around 25% over the next 30 years, reaching a total of around 10 billion people, and the current agri-food system will not be able to meet the required output levels.
  • At the same time, food systems must reduce their environmental impact, currently accounting for around one third of the global production of climate-changing gases.
  • Given the central role they play in achieving international goals (i.e. Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs), agri-food systems must therefore be reimagined in a sustainable way.
  • Ever more widespread digitisation and the use of digital platforms provide tools and opportunities for innovation with positive impacts, both environmentally (i.e. reduced use of harmful chemicals and less soil erosion) and socially (i.e. increased income for farmers).
  • Enabling factors for a green transition of food systems include: 1) increased investment in research and development, 2) incentives for private actors to adapt and adopt technological advances and 3) changes in current consumer eating habits.
  • A more efficient allocation of current public agricultural policy support, requiring greater international coordination, could also be a significant step towards a more sustainable agricultural system.
  • Public Development Banks, which together with Development Finance Institutions have combined assets of $11.5 trillion, have an important role to play as catalysts of resources and promoters of innovative financial instruments. 
Read the report