'Food Systems Are Paramount to the Challenges We Face': Why COVID-19 Must Prompt a Food Production Overhaul

Improving how we grow food is key to building a better future.
Jul 1, 2021 4:25 PM ET

Global Citizen

By Joe McCarthy

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the inequalities that prevent people worldwide from getting quality health care, food, water, shelter, education, and livelihoods. 

It’s an all-encompassing crisis with no end in sight.

But during the global recovery effort, there’s one area that cannot be overlooked, according to Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, who recently spoke with Global Citizen’s Chief Policy, Impact, and Government Affairs Officer Mick Sheldrick in a video interview. 

“What seems evident from the pandemic, as we have experienced it now and are still in the midst of it, is that food and the food systems are paramount to all the challenges we face, be it health, be it poverty, be it hunger, be it climate, be it nature, be it sustainable development,” Froehler said. 

“We are looking at a 50% increase in food demand in the decades to come and we are looking at losing about 30% of the yields because of climate change, so we do need to adapt food systems. We need to adapt food production; we need to adapt agriculture.”

The pandemic has caused global hunger rates to skyrocket as food production declines, food prices rise, and people lose access to sources of income. Smallholder farmers who form the backbone of rural communities have faced crop losses and have often been forced to sell their land or assets like livestock. 

In the interview, featured in the video above, Froehler explains why restoring food production and fighting food insecurity is key to overcoming the pandemic and building stronger communities and economies in the aftermath. 

Sheldrick, meanwhile, breaks down Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World: A Campaign to End COVID-19 and Kickstart a Global Recovery.

Watch the interview above to learn more.