The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report for 2023 has revealed a concerning increase in global food insecurity. The number of people experiencing hunger has more than doubled since 2020, with an estimated 900 million individuals facing food insecurity.
The number of people experiencing hunger in the world has more than doubled since 2020, with an estimated 900 million individuals facing food insecurity
This alarming trend is primarily attributed to the growing demands on natural resources and the increasing risks associated with climate change, which pose significant threats to the sustainability of food systems worldwide.
In response to this crisis, the Atoms4Food initiative has been introduced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to address food security challenges and combat hunger. This initiative aims to provide innovative solutions tailored to the specific needs of countries by applying nuclear techniques and advanced technologies. These solutions are designed to enhance agricultural and livestock productivity, manage natural resources more effectively, reduce food losses, ensure food safety, improve nutrition, and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.
Atoms4Fod will combat hunber by applying nuclear techniques and advanced technologies
Innovation with nuclear science
Atoms4Food is the result of nearly six decades of experience developed by the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in supporting the use of nuclear and isotope technology solutions, IAEA explains. The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture plays a crucial role in advancing and promoting the safe and appropriate utilization of nuclear technologies to enhance global food security and sustainable agricultural development. Nuclear science offers innovative tools to cultivate healthier, safer crops and safeguard food sources.
Nuclear science offers innovative tools to cultivate healthier, safer crops and safeguard food sources
The Atoms4Food initiative offers various services, including:
- Assessment Missions: Identifying food security needs and develop tailored plans to address related challenges.
- Crop Variety Improvement: Using nuclear plant mutation breeding to create more robust and nutritious crops.
- Soil and Water Management: Using nuclear and isotopic science to gather information on soil fertility, crop yield, and the availability of fertilizers and irrigation systems.
- Animal Production and Health: Assessing animal disease epidemiology, provides interventions for prevention and control, and enhances veterinary service capabilities.
- Insect Pest Control: Addressing insect pests affecting agricultural production using the nuclear-based sterile insect technique.
- Food Safety and Control: Evaluating laboratory capabilities for food hazard surveillance.
- Public Health Nutrition: Informing impactful nutrition programs using evidence derived from stable isotope techniques to evaluate the nutritional value of foods and diet quality.
Partners and collaborators
Partnerships and collaboration are fundamental to the success of the Atoms4Food initiative. This includes working with traditional and non-traditional partners, such as UN agencies, research institutions, financial organizations, foundations, and industry players. The initiative was officially launched at the 2023 World Food Forum in Rome by the IAEA and FAO.