Researchers from the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) have published a global map of food system sustainability, based on two decades of research into scientific literature. The researchers constructed the map using 20 indicators available to 97 low-, middle- and high-income countries.
According to CGIAR, the map is the first to provide a worldwide food system sustainability assessment based on a holistic set of indicators. The 20 indicators are divided across four dimensions: environmental, economic, social, and food and nutrition. They cover a range of factors such a greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, the size of the female labor force, fair trade, food price volatility, and food loss and waste. They can be utilized to track changes in sustainability over time and are meant to guide policy related to climate change, demographic changes, and increased demand for food.
The map provides “one of the most systematic attempts to date to unpack food system dynamics, from farm to fork to policy.”
Steven Prager, one of the co-authors and senior scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), noted that the research represents “a critical step forward” in understanding the relationship between the structure and function of food systems and their sustainability. The map provides “one of the most systematic attempts to date to unpack food system dynamics, from farm to fork to policy,” he added.
The paper was published in Scientific Data by ‘Nature’ on 25 November 2019 . [CGIAR Press Release] [Publication: Global map and indicators of food system sustainability]