Integrated, sustainable, and shared growth at Davos

February 1, 2012

This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos took place as the world faces slowed and uncertain economic growth and continuing shifts in economic power toward emerging and developing economies. Discussions focused on unemployment, increasing inequality, and the alarming speed at which we are approaching the limits of natural resource use. All of these issues will have significant impacts on the prospects for reducing global poverty and food and nutrition insecurity, and all of them call for new models of development.

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Webpage of IFPRI Director General, Shenggen Fan

According to IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan, who attended the meeting, global leaders are gradually coming to see agriculture in a more integrated way. Increasingly, agriculture and food security must be viewed alongside issues such as nutrition, health, natural resources, energy, and climate change. This year’s sessions showed more interaction between people from different sectors and featured agricultural experts addressing these wider but related topics.

Following the discussions in Davos, Fan emphasized the need for concrete actions:

  • Continue strengthening an integrated approach to agriculture that takes account of smallholder farming, nutrition and health, climate change, and natural resources. Because agriculture is at the nexus of all of these areas, it can be leveraged for broad development outcomes.
  • Base the price of natural resources on their full market value by including their social and environmental costs, such as impacts on climate change and health.
  • Set up a global system to measure, track, and monitor the cross-sectoral impacts among agriculture, food and nutrition security, energy, and natural resources.
  • Improve skills and knowledge at the country and local level through capacity building efforts.