Sustainable agriculture key to feeding Asia

Against the backdrop of one the world’s fastest populations, Asia’s producers must answer the call for increased agricultural production while balancing sustainable practices.

By HP Nanda, CEO of water utility at Grundfos

Water, energy, and food are the most important resources for societies around the world, but the stability of all three have been met with tremendous challenges in just the last few years.

Notably, food security is a key priority on this year’s agenda for the G20 under the Presidency of Indonesia, particularly as global challenges such as COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war adversely impact the food supply chain. The World Food Programme has reported that by end of 2022, an estimated 323 million people will be severely food-insecure, due to the compounding effects of social, political, and economic crises around the world.

Alongside this, food consumption has been skyrocketing as a result of a burgeoning population, growing middle class, and rapid urbanisation. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that we will need to produce 60% more food to feed a global population of 9.3 billion by 2050.

Closer to home, food insecurity looms as a priority in Asia. The agriculture sector is one of Asia’s economic pillars, supporting the livelihoods of a significant share of the region’s population. Yet, an estimated 375.8 million people in the region faced hunger in 2020, which is nearly 54 million more people than in 2019.

We need to urgently address hunger and malnutrition, ensuring those impacted have access to nutritious food. The way forward calls for greater effort and innovation towards sustainably increasing agricultural production, improving the global supply chain, and decreasing overall food loss and waste.

The full article can be found on Food & Beverage Asia’s October/November 2022 issue here.