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Abstract

In a little over a decade, the global population is expected to reach 8 billion. The task of feeding this growing population will become harder with rising natural resource constraints, declining or stagnant crop productivity, more frequent extreme weather events, and climate change. These challenges, especially the ensuing increase and volatility of food prices, threaten global food and nutrition security. The Malthusian prediction that population growth would eventually outpace agricultural production growth can be prevented. Technological successes in food and agriculture, such as the Green Revolution, demonstrate that rapid productivity increases in food production can be achieved. However, the goal of achieving global food and nutrition security must encompass food availability, accessibility, and utilisation, as well as the stability of all of these conditions over time. This paper highlights major actions needed to achieve these important objectives while simultaneously adopting a sustainable development approach. The actions include: • investments in agriculture and technological innovations to boost productivity, especially smallholder productivity, enhance the nutritional value of food crops, and increase resource-use efficiency; • productive social safety nets to protect poor and vulnerable groups, especially women and children, to ensure their access to nutritious and healthy food in the short run, and improve their human capital for long term prosperity; • global coordination to reduce food price volatility, including establishing strategic emergency food reserves, ensuring open trade, and eliminating grain-based biofuel production.

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