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THE FOOD SYSTEM AS WE KNOW IT

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In the olden days the only thing that mattered to a human being was his ability to find food for himself and his family. Little did he know about the nutritious facts, how much protein, how much fat and so on. Then came the concept of domesticating plants and animals. The ability to domesticate plants and livestock grew as time advanced and there rose the emergence of agriculture. The food culture that we know today is the result of the “green revolution” of the mid-20th century.

As man evolved and multiplied in number the problem of quantity seemed uncertain. Feeding all with the right health nutrients and right proportion was a problem, so then how could one feed so many with just a single hunt? All thanks to agriculture and off course green revolution that solved the problem of quantity. Growing food for the growing population was the mantra then. The outcome was that there was a dramatic improvement in the amount of food produced, as measured by crop yields. This somehow led to the wrong decision making like the greed to get better and better at growing better yielding crops giving rise to the problem of quality. This in turn led to disastrous consequences on the environment. What does that mean? In brief, the environment was exploited for meeting hunger needs and it never stopped. Extensive use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers became the new agricultural trend. The environmental cry gave way to sustainability – quality and quantity. The food system changed to a more sustainable one where environment and humans went hand in hand. Innovation paved its way allowing farming, cattle, and every other living entity to become the actors in the new form of agriculture. A single crop grown on a piece of land delivering a single output is the present scenario but even if later in the future that same piece of land grows multiple crops yielding multiple outputs, it would not be a shocker because that great is the innovative mind of humans. According to the Global action plan to work together for common goals we need a future where diverse, balanced and productive food and farming systems thrive, where resilient rural and urban populations share a dignified, equitable, hunger-free and poverty-free quality of life. According to their pillars of change, pillar 6 talks about promoting sustainability of family farming for climate-resilient food systems. It is important to promote the transition towards more sustainable food systems, which can simultaneously provide economic opportunity, conserve habitats and value the cultural and social diversity of different regions, to meet the needs of present and future generations. Creating an equitable business climate for farmers that encourages and provides crops that are diversified and healthy, thus leading to food systems that are more sustainable is the main aim for us today.

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