|A 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment: The Vision, Challenge, and Recommended Action (IFPRI, 1995, 56 p.)|
Although hunger, malnutrition, and environmental degradation are rampant in the developing world, and although the world population will grow by an unprecedented 90 million people a year in the next quarter century, many people have developed a dangerous sense of complacency about the current and future food, agriculture, and environment situation. Troubled by this complacency and a corresponding lack of foresight, IFPRI launched an initiative on A 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment in order to develop and promote a vision and an action plan for eradicating hunger and malnutrition while protecting the environment.
IFPRIs 2020 Vision is a world where every person has access to sufficient food to sustain a healthy and productive life, where malnutrition is absent, and where food originates from efficient, effective, and low-cost food systems that are compatible with sustainable use of natural resources.
The key challenge to realizing the 2020 Vision is to overcome the lack of commitment and to develop the political will to eradicate poverty and hunger and to protect the natural resource base.
Nine key challenges must be overcome for the 2020 Vision to be realized:
· Food security and nutrition. Today, 800 million people are food insecure, while 185 million preschool children are seriously underweight for their age. 2020 Vision research projects that, with business as usual, the number of malnourished children is likely to decline only slightly to 156 million by 2020.
· Poverty and economic growth. Over 1.1 billion people live on incomes of a dollar a day or less per person. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
· Human resource development. One-third of primary school enrollees drop out by Grade 4, 1 billion people lack access to health services, 1.3 billion people consume unsafe water, and almost 2 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation systems.
· Food demand and diet changes. 2020 Vision research projects per capita demand for foodgrains to increase by less than 3 percent, for livestock products by 17 percent, and for roots and tubers by 1 percent.
· Population growth and movements. In the next 25 years, about 90 million people are likely to be added to the worlds population every year, the developing worlds urban population is expected to more than double, and involuntary displacements of people are likely to increase.
· Food supply. Increased food production will have to come from more efficient use of land already under cultivation; significant expansion of cultivated area is not feasible in most of the world. But growth in food production has begun to lag.
· Natural resources and agricultural inputs. Degradation of natural resources undermines production capacity: 2 billion hectares have been degraded in the past 50 years, 180 million hectares of tropical forests were converted to other uses during the 1980s, marine fisheries are collapsing in parts of the world, and seasonal and regional water shortages afflict most developing countries.
· Markets, infrastructure, and international trade. As a result of inefficient markets and poor infrastructure, food marketing costs are too high, impeding access to food by the poor. Integrating developing countries into the global economy through international trade will influence their long-term economic prospects.
· Domestic resource mobilization and international assistance. Domestic savings and, consequently, investments are far too low in many developing countries. Private flows have risen substantially in recent years, especially to medium-income countries, but many of the poorer countries have been bypassed. International development assistance is slowing down.
Realizing the 2020 Vision calls for sustained action in six priority areas:
· Strengthen the capacity of developing-country governments to perform appropriate functions, such as maintaining law and order, establishing and enforcing property rights, promoting and assuring competition in private-sector markets, maintaining an appropriate macroeconomic environment, investing in or facilitating private-sector investment in public goods like education and infrastructure, and seeking improved access to international markets through trade negotiations. Predictability, transparency, and continuity in policymaking and enforcement are essential.
· Enhance the productivity, health, and nutrition of low-income people and increase their access to employment and productive assets by assuring access to primary education, primary health care, and clean water and sanitation for all people; strengthening and enforcing legislation and providing incentives to empower women; improving access by the poor to productive resources such as land; expanding employment through broad-based economic development; reducing population growth rates where they are high; and better targeting transfer programs to the poor.
· Strengthen agricultural research and extension systems in and for developing countries. Developing countries must sharply increase their national agricultural research expenditures to a target of at least 1 percent of the value of agricultural output with a longer-term target of 2 percent. Investment in international agricultural research to support national agricultural systems must be substantially increased. A clear policy on and agenda for biotechnology research must be developed.
· Promote sustainable agricultural intensification and sound management of natural resources, with increased emphasis on areas with agricultural potential, fragile soils, limited rainfall, and widespread poverty. Public- and private-sector investments in infrastructure, market development, natural resource management, and human resource development are required in these areas. Local control over resources must be strengthened and local capacity for organization and management improved. Farmers and communities must be encouraged to implement integrated soil fertility programs through policies that ensure property rights to land and improved access to credit, efficient and effective markets for plant nutrients, investments in infrastructure, and temporary fertilizer subsidies where prices are high due to inadequate infrastructure or poorly functioning markets. Integrated pest management programs should be promoted as the central pest management strategy. The international community must develop and enforce a global program of coordination and restraint to prevent exploitation of marine fisheries beyond sustain-able limits. Comprehensive water policy reforms are required to make better use of existing water supplies by providing appropriate incentives to water users, improving procedures for allocation, developing improved technology for water supply and delivery, providing secure water rights, and reforming distorted price incentives.
· Develop efficient, effective, and low-cost agricultural input and output markets by phasing out inefficient state-run firms in agricultural input and output markets; assuring effective competition; removing policies and institutions that favor large-scale, capital-intensive market agents over small-scale, labor - intensive ones; investing in or facilitating private-sector investment to develop or maintain market infrastructure; facilitating development of small-scale credit and savings institutions; and providing technical assistance and training to create or strengthen small-scale, labor-intensive competitive rural enterprises in trade, processing, and related marketing activities.
· Expand international cooperation and assistance and improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Developing countries must promote national strategies for achieving the goals underlying the 2020 Vision, diversify sources of external financing, and seek measures to stem capital flights. International development institutions and bilateral donors should focus official government-to-government assistance on countries whose governments demonstrate commitment to the goals underlying the 2020 Vision, raise international assistance to reach the target of 0.7 percent of gross national product, realign international assistance to low-income developing countries, replace concessional aid to high-income developing countries with internationally available commercial capital, and maintain a certain minimum amount of food to be made available as food aid in emergency situations.
The action needed to realize the 2020 Vision will require new or strengthened partnerships between individuals, households, farmers, local communities, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, national governments, and the international community. It will require a change in behavior, priorities, and policies. And it will require strengthened cooperation between industrial and developing countries as well as among developing countries. Failure to take action will lead to persisting hunger and poverty, continuing degradation of natural resources, increasing conflicts over scarce resources, and widening gaps between the rich and poor.
Failure to take action will lead to persisting hunger and poverty, continuing degradation of natural resources, increasing conflicts over scarce resources, and widening gaps between the rich and poor.