The ongoing World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 in Davos till May 26 will bring together nearly 2,500 global leaders to address current challenges during this time of heightened polarization.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Sean De Cleene, Head-Future of Food of World Economic Forum, said, at Davos they are looking at significant food production across the world and are discussing the challenges the high food prices bring.
Talking about food security, De Cleene said, "Last year, we saw 200 million people tumble into food insecurity, acute food hunger. This year, that could be a lot worse."
He said prices had been rising significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now with the crisis in Ukraine that is exacerbating very quickly. "We are really noticing potentially, a significant production challenge because fertiliser prices, energy prices are also increasing rapidly, which means the ability for farmers to grow, what they need to grow for the coming season, or the coming seasons will be very difficult,” he said.
He said that at Davos, they were discussing both, the challenges that those food prices bring as well as the knock-on effects to inflation. "We are also looking at long-term issues that a crisis like this means and so be under no illusions while we are dealing with a series of food prices also climate change is a major impact and, and food is at the centre of that conversation as well.”
De Cleene believes the impact of this food security on the most vulnerable will be catastrophic in the coming short term.
“So we really need to be able to target those incentives in a way that support the most needy, the vulnerable farmers that are working in remote areas that really are having trouble accessing services and inputs,” he said.
He added that what we need to be able to do is to use data in a much better way to make more informed decisions.
On digital and data alliance he said, “We have agreed to start to develop a digital and data alliance that will really help to harmonise a lot of the data, create much more transparency in that data, make sure that we can link satellite data right down to the individual farmer and the farm wallet, and be able to create long term transparency in markets.”
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