Both Russia and Ukraine are world powers in agriculture and food production, and the war in Europe is exacerbating a global food crisis. Thereafter, every effort should be made to maintain short-term trade flows of essential agricultural goods and inputs. We must also prevent isolated protectionist policies that will lead to further food price hikes, hitting the most vulnerable and causing further destabilization, and call on countries to release food stocks to reduce pressure on the food system.
However, it is clear that we need to reduce our dependence on Russia in the longer term. Here are three concrete ways to do this (which will simultaneously lead to a greener and more decarbonized food system):
There are huge regional differences in global agricultural productivity, often referred to as the yield gap. Harvests are determined by many factors, including weather, optimized use of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, and farming techniques. By using the right decision-making tools and having access to knowledge and quality inputs, smallholder farmers can significantly improve their yields. If the agriculture of many African countries, for example, reached the same level of productivity as European countries, they would strengthen their resilience, enable many more livelihoods and could finally be net exporters instead of large importers of products. food.
By the way: We don’t need a lot of scientific breakthroughs to achieve this. Most of the technologies and knowledge are already in place and just need to be implemented. However, to do so, we must act with speed and urgency.