Climate change threatens food security, livelihoods, nutrition, biodiversity, and natural ecosystems. Meanwhile, new research asserts that the overall food system, accounting for energy use in food supply chains, produced roughly one-third of global emissions in 2018. Three quarters of these emissions were generated within the farm gate, or in pre-and post-production activities, while the remainder were generated through land use change induced largely by the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land.

According to FAO, several major drivers have recently derailed progress to end world hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic created formidable challenges, prompting additional reflection on how we can more effectively improve our food systems and address food security. Conflict, violence, and escalating climate-related disasters have also perpetuated unacceptably high levels of inequality, and wreaked havoc among small-scale producers in developing countries, while exposing and exacerbating vulnerabilities in our food systems.

Agriculture inhabits a unique position as a contributor to climate change, as well as a sector that needs to build resilience to the effects of climate change. Agriculture is also seen as part of the solution, given the role it can play in enhancing carbon sequestration in soil and biomass. This sets the sector apart in its ability to contribute to both mitigation and adaptation goals and capitalize on measures that create synergies and deliver a myriad of benefits to a diverse group of stakeholders.

The transformation of our food systems is integral to a sustainable future and dependent on successful technological innovation, transfer, and digitalization to improve agricultural production, bolster resilience, address food insecurity, provide healthy diets for all, and meet SDG 2 on zero hunger. In collaboration with stakeholders, the CTCN supports the agriculture sector through the development of methodologies for monitoring climate’s impacts on agriculture, national agroforestry plans, knowledge management systems, technology adaptation programs, climate-smart agriculture manuals, waste management systems for livestock, and rural community-based livelihood improvement systems that support resilient agricultural practices.