Stories tagged: WEF

World Economic Forum 2016

20 – 23rd January 2016

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting will take place from 20-23rd January 2016., under the theme “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution“. Leading minds will gather to discuss how technology is changing our lives and that of future generations, and reshaping the economic, social, ecological and cultural contexts in which we live.

Agriculture and food security features on the agenda, participants will discuss how to revamp the global food system to sustainably deliver 70% more food than is consumed today to feed 9 billion people by 2050. Read more >>

The Water, Food and Energy Nexus : Tackling the Challenge

A recent paper “Considering the Energy, Water, and Food Nexus: Towards an Integrated Modelling Approach” has just been published by Morgan Bazilian, Holger Rogner et al.

In the paper, the authors argue that the areas of energy, water and food policy are interlinked, and have shared concerns ranging from environmental impacts to price volatility.

The Water-Food-Energy nexus, a term developed by the World Economic Forum in its Global Risks 2011 series, refers to the risks of water security, food security and energy security. Population growth and rising economic prosperity are expected to increase demand for energy, food and water, which in turn puts pressure on natural resources. This, combined with global governance failures, economic disparity and geopolitical conflict, could result in food shortages, struggles over water and hamper economic development. The three issues are deeply linked – food production requires water, water extraction and distribution require energy, which in turn requires water, and food prices depend on energy inputs. Climate change and growing populations also exacerbate this nexus.

The authors claim that identifying the interrelationships between these three areas is of great importance to help avoid potential tensions, and that ‘systems thinking’ – the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole – is required to address such a wide range of possible topics.

The paper states that while environmental issues are the core link between all three areas, other factors suggest that economic and security-related issues may be stronger motivators of change. The authors conclude that understanding of the complex interactions between the areas of energy, water and food will require new institutional capacity both in industrialised and developing countries.

The Farming First coalition advocates a six-point action plan for enhancing sustainable development through agriculture. In line with these six principles, Farming First encourages stakeholders to pursue policies that achieve long-term global sustainability goals through proven techniques, including specific actions in the area of water use and management, and around food security.

These principles are:

1. Safeguard natural resources
2. Share knowledge
3. Build local access and capacity
4. Protect harvests
5. Enable access to markets
6. Prioritise research imperatives

You can read more about the Farming First principles here, download our policy paper on food security here, read about our water policy here or find our section on the green economy here.

The Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor Project

Launched in early 2009 at the World Economic Forum, the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor is a project based in Mozambique that seeks to stimulate a major increase in agricultural production in an area whose growth potential has not yet been realised. The Beira Corridor has 10 million hectares of arable land with good soils, good climate and reliable access to water, but despite the promising conditions, very little commercial agriculture is practised.

The Beira Corridor project aims at drawing smallholder farmers out of the cycle of subsistence farming by providing the infrastructure, finance and training needed to improve their productivity.  The project has followed a cluster approach whereby agriculture is developed around existing infrastructure, which provides easy access to electricity and water supplies, for irrigation, and road and rail networks for access to markets.

The initiative is a joint scheme between various public and private sector organisations in the international community, including the Government of Mozambique. It was set up by Yara, who recognised the huge potential of the Beira Corridor as a key contributor to achieving food security. The project’s goal is to establish the corridor as a major agricultural producing and processing region over the next 20 years.

The Beira project will help to realise the agricultural potential of the region, with significant benefits for farmers and local communities. As a case study, this kind of project could be replicated and scaled up elsewhere in Africa and other parts of the developing world, to make best use of arable land, helping farmers improve their livelihoods and produce a secure food supply for their communities.

New Initiative to Boost Agriculture Prioritises Public-Private Partnerships

Picture 3At the World Economic Forum 2010, a new initiative to accelerate growth in sustainable agriculture was announced.  The project, ‘A New Vision for Agriculture’ aims to enhance public-private collaborations among stakeholders throughout the industry.

Indicating the role of agricultural investment in the recovery of the global economy, the initiative was set up by industry, governments, multilateral organisations and civil society.  A Project Board from the World Economic Forum will provide leadership to the initiative and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security will also offer guidance, whose global leaders will help to provide a network on which to build partnerships.

The initiative aims to develop a sustainable agri-food system that will be able to provide enough food for the projected 9.2 billion people in 2050 whilst meeting environmental sustainability goals.  Recognising the extent to which action needs to be taken, the initiative will focus itself on bringing together the capacities of both the public and private sectors to address issues such as:

  • Increasing investment in agriculture.
  • Improving stewardship practices of safeguarding natural resources.
  • Building infrastructure and improving policies to enable farmers’ access to markets.
  • Maximising the economic growth opportunities provided by agriculture.

‘A New Vision for Agriculture’ intends to provide a platform for key high-level leaders to share insights, offer advice and recommendations and support existing initiatives that show promising opportunities for collaboration and scaling.