Food security around the globe is coming under increasing pressure due to several factors such as a fast increasing and ever more urbanized population, changing dietary habits as well as climate change. All cities from New York to Dubai face their own variant of food challenges and must develop their own way to address them. There is no unique solution to this challenge, but the food system model must be redefined from production to consumption factoring in issues of waste and loss. Although challenges and their extent vary from one place to another in terms of population, dietary patterns, land saturation, environmental degradation and climate change, all governments must adapt their agricultural and food systems.
The Oliver Wyman report launched at the 2019 World Government Summit offers governments around the world the framework to assess the state of their food security and the tools to strengthen it both from regulatory and technological standpoints. Additionally, the consultancy firm examined five cities: New York, Singapore, Riyadh, Dubai and Havana to assess how secure they are along the five dimensions outlined in the paper.
To build a resilient agriculture and food system, a country or a city must undertake an audit of their supply chain from availability to utilization by consumer and assess how sustainable these core components are and how interdependent they are with other countries’. Finally, a series of regulatory initiatives combined to technological recommendations are put forward to address weak links and comprehensively ensure that their population’s most basic needs are fully met, now and for the future generation.