The 2022 World Food Forum (WFF) kicked off here on Monday, drawing throngs of young people from around the globe to share their thoughts on how best to tackle the world’s growing food crisis through innovation and technology.
In its second edition, the forum is hosted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under the theme of “Healthy Diets. Healthy Planet.” The five-day event takes place at the FAO headquarters here and also online.
Among other world leaders who addressed the opening ceremony in person or virtually, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu noted the big potential young people can unleash by creating a global movement to solve the pressing food crisis.
“We are providing a platform for the global youth to have a say and propose innovative ideas for the agrifood system’s transformation we need,” Qu said, adding “We must bring them to the decision-making table.”
The flagship event comprises the WFF Global Youth Forum, the FAO Science and Innovation Forum and the FAO Hand-in-Hand Investment Forum. The week-long gathering will foster dialogue among young people, farmers, policymakers, agricultural scientists and investors on the global food challenges.
According to the FAO, conflicts, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are some main causes of the global food security crisis, which has only been exacerbated by rising inflation and increasing fertilizer prices.
In its latest State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2022 report, the FAO estimated that up to 828 million people worldwide faced hunger last year, 46 million more than in 2020.
The first WFF was held virtually in October last year, which, according to FAO, attracted 20,000 participants and 75 partners.