Land & Food Security recounted

Producing food for the world’s growing rural and urban populations starts with agricultural land. Reducing current high levels of hunger and malnutrition, as called for by the Sustainable Development Goals, will depend on land use decisions and governance from the global to the local level.  Improving food security at both the global and local level will require land governance that creates incentives for greater productivity and improves access to nutritious food for the poor and vulnerable, without creating further strain on environmental services.

More efficient use of agricultural land can boost crop yields and meet growing global demand for food. Smallholders have a vital role to play, both because they produce much of the world’s food and because they represent a large share of the world’s poor and food insecure. At the local level, land tenure security, along with access to other resources, is linked with increased productivity and investments in land fertility, which in turn can increase food security [3]. What holds for small farmers in general is even more critical for women. Empowering women through more secure land rights and greater control over household decision making not only boosts production of food crops but also leads to improved nutrition for families. However, climate change and resource degradation are reducing yields and available land, threatening to slow or reverse progress on world hunger [4]. Addressing these new challenges requires investment in sustainable and climate-smart intensification. What is needed to improve food security? Natural and social science data, knowledge, and tools will all be essential to address the coming challenges [5]. Solutions will include improved crop varieties and agricultural technologies, and just as importantly, improvements and adaptations in the social and economic systems that link land to food security outcomes, including governance, incentives, markets, and investments.
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