The World Food Prize Foundation

2017 Side Events

The Launch of the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2017

10/18/2017 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Davenport and Dubuque Rooms, 3rd Floor | Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Gabriel Laizer

Leveraging Food Systems for Inclusive Rural Transformation.

Event Description:
Amid great plenty, billions of people still face pervasive hunger, poverty, joblessness, environmental degradation, disease and deprivation. One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending hunger and poverty while making agriculture and food systems sustainable. The challenge is made more daunting by huge, but uneven, demographic pressures, profound changes in food demand, and the threat of mass migration of youth in search of a better life. Achieving the SDGs will require food system transformations and strategies that leverage the food system to boost economic growth in countries where industrialization is lagging. This entails resetting priorities on a broader front.

The 2017 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) will analyze the structural and rural transformations now under way in low-income countries, their impact on food systems, and the opportunities and challenges they present to millions of small-scale food producers.

SOFA 2017 will outline a strategy that would leverage the enormous untapped potential of food systems to drive agro-industrial development, boost small-scale farmers’ productivity and incomes, and create off-farm employment in expanding segments of food supply and value chains. Economic development of rural areas is as important as that of urban areas in reducing overall levels of povertyThis holds an important message for policy-makers. Resources need to go to rural areas not only because that is where most of the poor and hungry live, but also because broad-based rural economic development is a powerful force for change.

During the facilitated roundtable discussion, panelist will address these questions among others:

  1. What are the overarching challenges of ongoing rural transformation?
  2. How do we leverage food systems to help rural transformation?
  3. What impact will the growth in urban food market have on rural transformation?


This event is free and open to the public.

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