Global shocks over the past few years have created an unprecedented “polycrisis” that has disproportionately hurt small-scale farmers and people living in food-deficit countries according to new data released this week.
The COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts including the Russia-Ukraine war, and climate change have created far-reaching impacts across global food systems, affecting food, fertilizer, feed, fuel, and financing available to producers. The resulting polycrisis has left humanity vulnerable to future “black swan” moments that could have even more severe and far-reaching consequences for global food supplies. One of the researchers says, “Already, millions of smallholder farmers and their families were teetering on the edge of survival due to long-term structural challenges, and this polycrisis has pushed countless into disaster.”
To alleviate global food insecurity, the report says the U.S. should invest more in international agricultural research and innovation. More research is needed across climate change adaptation and mitigation, soil health and nutrient management, crop diversity and nutrition, access to markets and finance, supply chain infrastructure, and local capacity building.