Unlocking the potential of genomics to accelerate sustainable development

Countries around the world came together at the 1996 World Food Summit to commit to the FAO’s goal ofachieving global food security. Now, more than 20 years later, hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, and the number of hungry people now stands at 821 million. Two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

Addressing this challenge will require new ways of thinking, not only about sources of food, but also more broadly about innovations that support the health of rural populations. Today, three quarters of the world’s food is produced from only 12 plants and five animal species, while there are about 300,000 edible plant species in the world. Plant diversity will be the source of food security and nutrition for the world population today and for generations to come.

Photo: BGI