How Agriculture Can Contribute to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Part 1
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 interconnected goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It is as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. The goals cover a wide range of topics including poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, renewable energy, economic growth, and more. The SDGs are important because they provide a framework for countries, organizations and individuals to work together to achieve a sustainable future for all. They also serve as a blueprint for global cooperation and collaboration towards a more equitable and just world.
Agriculture plays an important role in achieving the SDGs. it contributes to several of these goals directly and indirectly. For instance, agriculture is critical in eradicating poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and SDG 2), as it provides employment and income for millions of people around the world, especially in developing countries.
Through sustainable agricultural practices, food production can be increased to meet the growing demand for food while protecting the environment (SDG 12 and SDG 13). Moreover, agriculture also plays a vital role in promoting gender equality (SDG 5) by providing women with equal access to resources, education, and opportunities.
SDG 1. No Poverty
Agriculture has always been a primary source of income and employment for rural communities. By cultivating crops and raising livestock, rural communities can not only provide for themselves but also contribute to the larger economy. There are various initiatives, from on farm opportunities to the end of the agricultural product chain. Here are a few ways in which agriculture can provide income and employment opportunities:
- Farming: By growing crops and raising livestock, farmers can sell their produce and earn a profit. This not only provides income for the farmers but also creates employment opportunities for others in the community, such as farm workers and truck drivers.
- Processing and Packaging: Once the crops are harvested, they need to be processed and packaged for sale. This can include activities such as canning, drying, and packaging. By setting up processing and packaging facilities in rural areas, communities can create jobs and increase their income.
- Agribusiness: Agriculture is not just about farming and processing but also about selling and distributing the products. Rural communities can set up agribusinesses, such as food markets, cooperatives, and transportation services, to connect farmers with consumers and create new income streams.
- Tourism: Rural areas with a strong agricultural heritage can attract tourists who are interested in experiencing farm life and learning about agriculture. By offering agritourism opportunities, such as farm stays, tours, and events, rural communities can create jobs and generate income from tourism.
There are numerous examples of successful agricultural initiatives that have reduced poverty. One example is the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network’s (FANRPAN) project, which aims to align the agendas of the agriculture and health community in Africa to reduce poverty and hunger.
The other examples are in successful agricultural transformations which have created jobs, raised incomes, reduced malnutrition. It can be seen in Brazil, China, and Vietnam where the transformation kick-started the economy on a path to middle-income growth. Each of which at least doubled the value of its agriculture sector within 20 years of starting its transformation.
Additionally, agricultural growth appears to be a priority for poverty reduction in landlocked and coastal economies alike, with the poorest benefiting most from agricultural growth. Other examples of successful agricultural initiatives that have reduced poverty can be found in this article from Farming First.
Not only experiencing a crisis of skilled workers, the world of agriculture in general is still lacking innovation and technology. As our action in taking part in solving this problem, In ALTEK Indonesia we develop a Technopreneurship Modular Course called Agritech Business & Innovation Management (ABIM) .
ABIM module focused on sharpening the managerial skills of future leader in the area of agricultural innovation and technology that can address society’s needs. Participants will learn the skill set required to set up a sustainable and impactful Agritech business as well as management skills that can support their professional development as an Agritech actor. They will also be exposed to new issues in modern agriculture and sustainability.
By investing in agriculture, preparing human capital in agriculture and supporting farmers and agribusinesses, communities can not only improve their own economic well-being but also contribute to the larger economy. And talking about agriculture primarily is about feeding the growing population!