Achieving the goals set in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda requires economies and societies to be embedded parts of the biosphere. The agricultural sector is well positioned to take a lead in making a significant industry contribution to achieving the SDGs while prioritizing and addressing sector-specific challenges. A well-performing and smartly regulated agricultural sector that can cater to rising food demands, can also help fast-track national efforts to achieve SDG1 (no poverty) and SDG2 (zero hunger). Agricultural growth in low-income and agrarian economies is at least twice more effective in reducing hunger and poverty than any other sector. Agricultural development can invest in the communities with farming or production facilities to reduce their vulnerability.
The poorest of the poor spend most of their income on food, therefore, food security and accessibility is fundamental to lifting people out of poverty while right to adequate food is universal and good nutrition is essential for all. Ensuring health and well-being is largely tied to food and access to health care. Good health enhances agricultural productivity, and the intake of nutritious plant-based foods supports good health and promoting rural education will provide rural small scale farmers with tangible solutions to supporting themselves while feeding millions of people and gender inequalities greatly affect rural women’s involvement in agriculture, rural development, and food security. Many rural dwellers where agricultural production is important still live without proper access to clean water with basic sanitation and current energy use in the agribusiness sector is unsustainable and heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
Of the over one billion people in rural Africa relying on the agribusiness sector for their livelihoods, most face low incomes, poor working conditions, deficits in access to both social protection and workplace representation, are socially vulnerable while agricultural activities will support the productivity and prosperity of small scale rural farmers, respect human rights, support gender transformative policies, and pay a living wage to workers can help reduce inequalities throughout the region. Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing, and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food and considering that most African economies are agriculture-based and have a large population of farmers, climate change is perhaps the largest threat to food security in the region. Consequently, its adverse effects can influence the lives of millions of rural farmers, particularly smallholders.
Oceans, seas, and coastal areas form the planet’s largest ecosystem and provide numerous essential goods and ecological services to support human well-being, nutrition, and global food security while food security and a healthy agricultural sector play a central role in preventing conflict and building peace. Ensuring strong partnerships between the private sector, NGOs, governing bodies and the public can mitigate the growing scarcity and fast degradation of natural resources, while meeting the increasing demand for food, feed, fiber, and goods and services from agriculture. SDGs offer a vision of a fairer, more prosperous, peaceful and sustainable world in which no one is left behind. Equally, Agrobiz.org is committed to the expanding agricultural success with the SDGs.
Submitted by - Abimbola Afolabi, AgroBiz Intern of Ogun, Nigeria