SINGAPORE., March 2, 2021 — Today the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the ninth Global Food Security Index (GFSI), sponsored by Corteva Agriscience. The GFSI considers food security in the context of income and economic inequality, gender inequality, and environmental and natural resources inequality. This year’s report specifically calls attention to systemic gaps and how COVID-19 exacerbated their impact on food systems. Based on these findings, global food security has decreased for the second year in a row.
“The GFSI report gives leaders worldwide the insights they need to help ensure healthy, available and affordable food for all,” said Jim Collins, the Chief Executive Officer at Corteva Agriscience. “It clearly demonstrates the need to strengthen agriculture in the face of new challenges, like more extreme weather and declining natural resources. At Corteva Agriscience, we are proud to do our part in innovating for more resilient crops and helping build stronger farms, therefore a more secure food system.”
This year, EIU’s GFSI measures the drivers of food security through the underlying factors of affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience in the region. According to the Asia Pacific special report from the EIU, the region ranked fourth in the world, with the regional list topped by Japan followed by New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Australia, respectively.
The report showed that the region recorded its best performance in the food affordability category. Ten out of the 23 countries in the region did not require any kind of food assistance in the last five years. Additionally, economic growth has been sustained across the region, especially in China and Southeast Asia, lifting many out of poverty. While there have been encouraging improvements overall, extreme weather conditions such as typhoons and COVID-19 have presented new challenges to the region. Indonesia experienced high levels of inflation due to trade disruptions caused by the pandemic. Though overall, food and resource mobilization were achieved in Asia Pacific, decreasing the pressure of the pandemic across the region.
The GFSI also included “Natural Resources and Resilience” as a fourth main category for the first time this year. This marked a significant change in methodology, revealing country’s food systems’ resiliency against climate change. The sub-indicators under this category include food import dependency, disaster risk management and projected population growth.
According to the EIU special report, high-income countries’ strengths in the region are undermined by the increase in climate change risks. Most countries are at high risk of experiencing severe storms, rising sea levels and water shortages. The region is susceptible to climate change, but the index reveals that fewer than one-third of the countries made commitments to develop resilient agriculture.
Corteva has been working to provide innovative agricultural solutions that can be implemented in the region, such as developing stable crops that are more resistant to extreme weather and can thrive in limited water. The company’s resource-efficient, direct-seeded hybrid rice system in India is one example of how it is helping drive a more responsible food system. Corteva also collaborates with governments and foreign aid organizations to increase technological adoption. In a PRISMA collaboration with the Indonesian and Australian governments, Corteva successfully educated female farmers in Madura, Indonesia about hybrid corn, leading to more than a 270% increase in the farmers’ income levels.
In Asia Pacific, two areas for improvement stand out: public expenditure on agricultural infrastructure and mitigation of climate risks. Increased investment in these areas would benefit countries’ food security in the long run.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, it is clear that improving food production can help address the widening inequality highlighted by the index,” said Peter Ford, President, Asia Pacific, Corteva Agriscience. “In Asia Pacific, where countries are diverse, we are proud to be bringing tailored innovations and solutions to farmers that are both climate-positive and sustainable.”
About Corteva Agriscience
Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximizing productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognized brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfills its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on June 1, 2019 and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at www.corteva.com.
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