Hidden prices of world agrifood techniques price a minimum of $10 trillion

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Rome – Our present agrifood techniques impose enormous hidden prices on our well being, the setting and society, equal to a minimum of $10 trillion a yr, in response to a ground-breaking evaluation by the Meals and Agriculture Group of the United Nations (FAO), overlaying 154 nations. This represents virtually 10 % of world GDP.

Based on the 2023 version of The State of Meals and Agriculture (SOFA), the most important hidden prices (greater than 70 %) are pushed by unhealthy diets, excessive in ultra-processed meals, fat and sugars, resulting in weight problems and non-communicable ailments, and inflicting labour productiveness losses. Such losses are significantly excessive in high- and upper-middle-income nations.

One fifth of the whole prices are environment-related, from greenhouse gasoline and nitrogen emissions, land-use change and water use. It is a drawback that impacts all nations, and the dimensions might be underestimated as a result of knowledge limitations.

Low-income nations are proportionately the toughest hit by hidden prices of agrifood techniques, which characterize greater than 1 / 4 of their GDP, versus lower than 12 % in middle-income nations and fewer than 8 % in high-income nations. In low-income nations, hidden prices related to poverty and undernourishment are essentially the most important.

The report makes the case for extra common and detailed evaluation by governments and the non-public sector of the hidden or ‘true’ prices of agrifood techniques by way of true value accounting, adopted by actions to mitigate these harms.

There have been different makes an attempt at measuring the hidden prices of agrifood techniques, producing comparable estimates as FAO. The brand new FAO report, nonetheless, is the primary to disaggregate these prices right down to the nationwide stage and guarantee they’re comparable throughout value classes and between nations.

For the primary time ever, FAO will dedicate two consecutive editions of The State of Meals and Agriculture to the identical theme. This yr’s report presents preliminary estimates, whereas subsequent yr’s will concentrate on in-depth focused assessments to determine the most effective methods to mitigate them. Governments can pull completely different levers to regulate agrifood techniques and drive higher outcomes general. Taxes, subsidies, laws and regulation are amongst them.

“Within the face of escalating international challenges: meals availability, meals accessibility and meals affordability; local weather disaster; biodiversity loss; financial slowdowns and downturns; worsening poverty; and different overlapping crises, the way forward for our agrifood techniques hinges on our willingness to understand all meals producers, large or small, to acknowledge these true prices, and perceive how all of us contribute to them, and what actions we have to take. I hope that this report will function a name to motion for all companions – from policymakers and private-sector actors to researchers and customers – and encourage a collective dedication to remodel our agrifood techniques for the betterment of all,” mentioned FAO Director-Basic QU Dongyu.

The report urges governments to make use of true value accounting to remodel agrifood techniques to deal with the local weather disaster, poverty, inequality and meals safety. It notes that improvements in analysis and knowledge, in addition to investments in knowledge assortment and capability constructing, can be wanted to scale the applying of true value accounting, so it may well inform decision-making in a clear and constant manner.



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