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Making Better Policies for Food Systems

image of Making Better Policies for Food Systems

Food systems around the world face a triple challenge: providing food security and nutrition for a growing global population; supporting livelihoods for those working along the food supply chain; and contributing to environmental sustainability. Better policies hold tremendous promise for making progress in these domains. This report focuses on three questions. What has been the performance of food systems to date, and what role did policies play? How can policy makers design coherent policies across the triple challenge? And how can policy makers deal with frictions related to facts, interests, and values, which often complicate the task of achieving better policies? Better policies will require breaking down silos between agriculture, health, and environmental policies, and overcoming knowledge gaps, resistance from interest groups, and differing values. Robust, inclusive, evidence-based processes are thus essential to making better policies for food systems.

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The contribution of the seed sector to the triple challenge

The seed sector makes an important contribution to meeting the triple challenge facing food systems by supporting food security and nutrition, livelihoods, and sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation. But contentious issues related to plant breeding arise in debates around food systems. These include the role of private-sector investment in plant breeding; issues around access, benefit sharing and conservation of genetic resources for plant breeding; and the role of new plant breeding technologies. Building on the framework developed in this overall report, this chapter argues that many of the contentious issues derive from the interplay of disagreements over facts, interests, and values.

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