The objective of the second of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 2) is a world with “zero hunger” by 2030. “A rising tide lifts all boats” is an appropriate metaphor for SDG 2, where zero hunger is not simply defined as the production of more food but is coupled with planetary health and economic resilience for farmers.
Unfortunately, the backdrop to this ambitious goal is a decline in overall government spending and donor funding for agricultural research—the knowledge that can realize innovative ideas to improve and sustain soil, water and air quality as part of climate change adaptation while improving the livelihoods and food security of the world’s poorest people. We live in a time where planetary pressures are at an all-time high, where absolute numbers of hungry people are rising, and yet policy response is woefully inadequate—even detrimental—to addressing the problems at hand. Without increased resources, we will not achieve SDG 2.
These evidence syntheses will provide us with a summary of the current state of knowledge by exploring how various interventions in agriculture have or have not resulted in the outcomes that support SDG 2’s objective. The methodology section explains the combination of data analytic and global consultative process by which these questions were chosen. For clarity, they have been grouped into three themes: On-farm activity; Moving food to market; The enabling environment.