The global agri-food system needs a fundamental transition to cater to deep-seeded challenges of current production systems, inaccessible technologies for food storage in developing regions, increasing distance of newly urbanised populations to the source of production, and the need to fulfill nutritional needs of an approximated 10 billion people by 2050. It is clear that stakeholders from domains of research, development, business, governance, along the entire agri-value chain need to step out of silos, and coordinate to create a sustainable food system.

“A sustainable food system (SFS) is a food system that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised.”

A systemic transition from current trends of production and consumption to the one that facilitates localized solutions in globalised settings would also ease pressure on the ecosystem, reduce GHGEs and use resources effectively for a balanced adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

In order to feed the world’s population by 2050, forecasts show that the total food production needs to increase by about 70% between 2005/07 and 2050. Moreover, developing countries would need to double their food production capacity. To this end, agricultural economies of the world are facing post-green-revolution stress as governments continue to support chemical-based farming through input-based subsidies. This, combined with a lack of proper knowledge dissemination to farmers has led to overuse and misuse of chemicals in food production. Soil degradation, loss in biodiversity, and groundwater pollution are some of the well-known environmental impacts of pesticide overuse.

As the world sees an increase in the intensity and number of transboundary outbreaks of animal and plant pests and diseases, this further threatens the global agricultural production systems. Moreover, with changing climatic conditions, a decline in crop growth, the availability of water, fisheries, and aquaculture yields as well as the dysfunction of ecosystem services in all regions is predicted.

Changing climatic conditions and unsustainable means of farming are making the possibilities of a sustainable food system difficult in the near future. To tackle the above mentioned problems climate smart and climate resilient agriculture needs to be promoted and new technologies need to be integrated into it. The Sharad Pawar Fellowship is
committed to inspiring and empowering the youth in India that wish to be leaders and changemakers in the field of climate smart and climate resilient agriculture. The SPF fellowship is tailored to cover various technologies and agricultural practices to provide state-of-the-art training in climate resilient agriculture.