Food systems need urgent overhaul to combat desertification
Scientists, policymakers, farmers and consumers all need to collaborate to mainstream nutritious and resilient crops that can be grown locally and help reduce desertification and land degradation. The need of the hour is to diversify farming systems and diets, and encourage production of locally adapted climate-resilient nutritious crops. Food system experts discussed ways to mitigate the impact of desertification on food systems at the UN Desertification and Drought Day virtual event.
Alternative foods can make the difference
Ms Joanna Kane-Potaka, Assistant Director General – External Relations, ICRISAT, described ICRISAT’s evolution into an organization looking at entire value chains – from soils to improved seeds to processing/agri-business and consumers – for its mandate crops. The Smart Food initiative, she said, is raising awareness and driving the demand from the consumer end for climate-smart and nutritious dryland crops.