Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Food Systems
Public research universities, as the discoverers, analyzers, and curators of agriculture, food systems, fisheries, aquaculture, and nutrition information, have a unique leadership role in creating knowledge that will ensure equitable access to sufficient food and nutrition security for all people. Opportunity exists for public research universities, in partnership with the private sector and local governments, to share research and knowledge resources related to food and nutrition security. Allowing equal opportunities for all sectors, especially small and entrepreneurial producers, to access and share vital information will promote broader use of information that is important to the food system. The time is right to create such a platform and universities, as the discoverers, analyzers, and curators of information and data, should be the natural leaders in this effort.
Addressing the issue of inclusion and equity in the charge to create food and nutrition security globally demands an examination of affect the gender composition has on the global food scene. Women play a major role in increasing the performance of the agricultural sector and eradicating hunger, particularly in low-income countries where women account for 43 percent of the agricultural workforce. Therefore, closing the gender gap in agricultural productivity by giving women the same access to resources as men could help reduce the number of undernourished by as much as 100 to 150 million people.
The Pathway to Meeting the Challenge
- Identify the forces in food production systems that impact producers and their workers to ensure policymakers fully understand and address their needs.
- Measure and address the drivers/causes of inequity in access to food through inclusive, equitable, and accessible creation and dissemination of information related to domestic and global food security.
- Expand inclusion on campuses and with the public through discovery, engagement, and learning.
- Enhance the role of women in agriculture, and related areas, by promoting girls’ and women’s education and access to resources.
- Invest in human and institutional capacity-building efforts of constituencies, allowing them full participation in science, education, and policy making to ensure food and nutrition security, which is particularly necessary in low-income countries.