Home / Knowledge Portal / Food security policy and governance / Food and nutrition policies / The future of food and agriculture: Trends and challenges
March 1st, 2017

The future of food and agriculture: Trends and challenges

Published by FAO,

This report (PDF) from FAO lays out and analyses 15 key global trends that are influencing and will influence food and agriculture in the coming decades, and comments on the associated 10 challenges ahead. Several trends that will impact agriculture and food systems are: global population growth is slowing, but Africa and Asia will still see a large population expansion; economic growth is leading to dietary transition, e.g. demand for food is changing towards higher consumption of meat and dairy products and other more resource-intensive food items; climate change affects disproportionately food-insecure regions, jeopardizing crop and livestock production, fish stocks and fisheries; critical parts of food systems are becoming more capital-intensive, vertically integrated and concentrated in fewer hands; conflicts, crises and natural disasters are increasing in number and intensity. What emerges is that “business as usual” is no longer an option but calls for major transformations in agricultural systems, in rural economies and in how we manage our natural resources are needed. The major challenges are: to reduce inequalities through pro-poor strategies, going beyond agriculture, by involving both rural and urban areas and supporting job creation and income diversification; to include all countries to create a sustainable food systems and to abandon the developed/developing countries divide. While vertically coordinated, more organized food systems offer standardized food for urban areas and formal employment opportunities, they need to be accompanied by responsible investments and concern for smallholder livelihoods, the environmental footprint of lengthening food supply chains, and impacts on biodiversity. Also find the summary, infographic, and a presentation on the report.

Curated from fao.org