UN report: agricultural investment is the key to public health, resource conservation

May 30, 2013

According to a 2012 United Nations report, nearly 870 million people worldwide suffer from the effects of malnutrition, or one out of every eight. Investments in agriculture will be critical in the effort to relieve this public health crisis.

Such investment is also a necessity for effective natural resource management and conservation. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that “Agricultural investment is essential to promoting agricultural growth, reducing poverty and hunger and promoting environmental sustainability.”

Despite much recent attention devoted to obesity in developed nations, hunger remains a chronic emergency among large populations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean nations. Solutions to this health crisis will depend upon improvements in agricultural productivity across the globe, including here in the U.S., supported by research and development. A burgeoning human population will place steadily increasing demands upon food production in future decades.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, can be accessed at http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en/.