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GAP Report® 2015 – Digital
BUILDING SUSTAINABLE BREADBASKETS
Declaring that eradicating poverty and hunger is both the “greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development,” United Nations member states in September 2015 adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious agenda to end hunger and poverty once and for all by 2030. The SDGs are designed to protect the planet, to preserve natural resources and to create the conditions necessary for sustainable and inclusive economic growth and prosperity. The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) applauds and supports this cooperative effort of governments, multilateral institutions and civil society.
In the spirit of the SDGs, the Global Harvest Initiative is delighted to present our 2015 Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®): Building Sustainable Breadbaskets.
A vibrant agriculture and food sector is a powerful foundation for broad-based, inclusive economic growth and development, creating multiplier effects throughout the entire economy. In addition to those employed directly in agriculture and food production, manufacturing, marketing and sales, there are many others who provide training, financial services, energy, technology, equipment and transportation, adding value to and creating jobs in all economic sectors. With the right policies, innovations and knowledge-based practices, agriculture systems provide sufficient, nutritious and affordable food, conserve natural resources, raise people out of poverty, empower women and girls and generate sustainable economic growth across a variety of industries. Scientific and technological advancements improve productivity, reduce the environmental footprint of food production and help mitigate its contribution to climate change.
Our 2015 GAP Report® highlights the impressive legacy of the United States’ conservation agriculture system, which was built in the wake of the 1930s Dust Bowl crisis and created a vibrant agricultural economy and abundant food supply. It demonstrates that threats can be overcome, but continued commitment and investment are necessary to generate new innovations to conserve soil, water and other precious natural resources, assuring that we are maintaining a sustainable breadbasket for tomorrow’s challenges. The report also shines a spotlight on Zambia, a country that is diversifying its agricultural production systems and building its capacity to become a regional breadbasket in southern Africa.
Tackling global hunger and ensuring future generations have access to sufficient affordable and nutritious food in the face of population growth and climate change requires immediate attention from public and private sectors alike. Together we must create food and agriculture systems that incorporate transparency, best practices of productivity, conservation, animal well-being and responsible stewardship, from farmer to consumer, building resilience at every step of the value chain.
This should be our shared vision of agriculture; we should settle for nothing less.
Margaret M. Zeigler
Global Harvest Initiative