21 September 2021, Rome – The future of agri-food systems needs to be built on science and innovation if it is to meet the complex challenges facing humanity, QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) told Members today.

“The transformation of agri-food systems demands innovative systemic changes”, Qu said as he opened the first consultative session with FAO Members for the development of a new FAO thematic strategy on Science and Innovation. “We need innovation in technologies, policies, business models and mindsets, innovation that is by people and for people.”

The FAO Science and Innovation Strategy will be the Organization’s second new thematic strategy, following the Climate Change Strategy, which is also in the process of being developed to supersede an earlier version adopted in 2017.

This new Science and Innovation Strategy comes amid unprecedented complex global challenges. Despite increasing global food production, in 2020 as many as 161 million more people were undernourished than in 2019. FAO’s role as the lead specialized UN agency for agri-food is to help  harness the latest developments in the rapidly changing landscape of Science, Technology and Innovation to play a key part in mapping out new solutions.

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