FAO’s latest report titled “Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related SDG indicators 2020” highlights lack of progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Here are the main highlights:
• According to the latest data contained in this report, collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remains insufficient in the food and agriculture domain, that the world is not on track to meet the relevant targets by 2030.
• Now, the COVID-19 crisis is making the achievement of these targets even more challenging.
• The most recent 2019 estimates show that prior to the pandemic, nearly 690 million people, or 8.9 percent of the world population, were hungry.
• Worldwide, moderate or severe food insecurity increased between 2015 and 2019, and now affects about 2 billion people.
• The productivity and incomes of small-scale producers are systematically lower than those of larger food producers on average.
• Gender inequalities in land rights are still pervasive. In 9 out of 10 countries assessed, relatively fewer women than men have ownership and/or control rights over agricultural land.
• While water stress remains at a safe 17 percent at global level, regions such as Central and Southern Asia and Northern Africa register very high water stress levels, at over 70 percent.
• The world’s forest area continues to decrease, though at a slightly slower rate than during the previous decades. Despite the overall loss of forest, the world has made some progress towards sustainable forest management.
Impact of COVID-19 on agriculture and food statistics
The COVID-19 outbreak has intensified data scarcity problems when timely, reliable information has become even more important for immediate policy responses and for monitoring national and international development agendas.
“Many data collection activities rely on direct or face-to-face interviews and have been postponed or suspended as countries remain on lockdown. At the same time, mitigation and contingency plans are being put in place in many countries. Data producers have been revising their strategies, mainly by shifting to alternative data collection means and using new statistical methods to minimize data gaps and impact on data quality,” the report said.