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Crop Biotech Update

FAO Promotes Innovation to Maintain Agri-Food Systems During the COVID-19 Pandemic

January 20, 2021

Innovative approaches in agri-food systems were used by households and countries to help minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply chains. More innovative solutions are necessary to "build back better and build back greener", according to QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He said this during a virtual high-level panel on how to help strengthen the sustainability of food systems and prevent pandemics in the future. The panel discussion was part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) held in Berlin, Germany.

The innovations that supported agri-food systems include green channels connecting fresh food producers with urban centers, e-commerce solutions deployed across the spectrum of agri-food systems, and workarounds that have assured the functioning of food safety practices amid widespread restrictions on the movement of people triggered by the COVID-19 emergency.

FAO's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme identified the following drivers of innovation: data for decision-making, social protection programs, boosting smallholder resilience, empowering rural women, trade facilitation, and market transparency as well as the One Health approach which integrates human and animal disease strategies with those for protecting biodiversity and natural resources.

Read the news release from FAO.

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