The Cities Cluster on Sustainable agriculture and value chain development offers a space for knowledge sharing and collaboration between cities partners of the Global South on sustainable agriculture and how to grow, process, and sell the food that consumers eat—from farm to table.
The agriculture sector is one of the largest sources of household income and plays an essential role in poverty reduction in many developing. Yet, needs remain strong in addressing biodiversity loss, water insecurity, pesticide-related deaths, extreme climate events, soil and water pollution, and other challenges arising from unsustainable agricultural practices and associated land-use change.
The COVID-19 intensified the underlying challenges by disrupting the agriculture supply chain and driving post-harvest loss in low-income countries (FAO, 2020). Further, the desert locust crisis starting in early 2020 compounded the crisis across countries in greater Eastern Africa, Southwest Asia, and the area around the Red Sea (FAO, 2021). As a result of these factors as well as pre-existing conditions including armed conflicts and insecurity, food prices rose by close to 20% globally between January 2020 and January 2021, and the number of people in food insecurity increased drastically (World Bank, 2021).