15 SEPTEMBER 2021
UN REPORT: AGRICULTURAL FUNDING DISTORTS PRICES, HARMS ENVIRONMENT
UN Report released on 14 September 2021 ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit to be held on 23 September 2021 in New York shares many case studies in different parts of the world.
The Report says that around 87% of the $540 billion in total annual government support given to agricultural producers includes measures that are price distorting and that can be harmful to nature and health.
The global support to producers are mostly in the form of subsidies and other incentives.
“These are inefficient, distort food prices, hurt people’s health, degrade the environment and are often inequitable, putting big agri-business ahead of smallholder farmers, many whom are women,” says the Report released by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Report also revealed that last year, up to 811 million people faced chronic hunger and nearly one in three people in the world did not have year round access to adequate food.
“Agriculture is one of the main contributors to climate change. At the same time, farmers are particularly vulnerable to impact of the climate crisis, such as extreme heat, rising sea levels, drought, floods and locust attack”, the Report cautions the lower-income countries of the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
“Governments have an opportunity now to transform agriculture into a major driver of human well-being and into a solution for the imminent threats of climate change , nature loss and pollution,” the Executive Director of UNEP remarked.