The Bruntland Commission Report of 1987 defined sustainable development as “development that meets the demands of the present without jeopardising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development constantly urges us to conserve and increase our resources by gradually altering how we produce and use technologies. Employment, food, energy, water, and sanitation should all be met by all countries. The United Nations member states had adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 which provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.
There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets, 3164 events, 1322 publications on this and 6059 actions that are needed and are being taken at the moment. Today, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) Division’s for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and related thematic issues such as water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanisation, transportation, science and technology, partnerships, and Small Island Developing States. The DSDG is a key player in assessing the UN system’s implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as advocacy and outreach efforts related to the SDGs.
The second goal of the global sustainable development is zero hunger. This means that it aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. In this goal, there are eight targets (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.a, 2.b, 2.c) and 14 indicators to measure progress. Target 2.a is aims to increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries. Effective monitoring, review, and follow-up mechanisms are critical to the Sustainable Development Goals’ accomplishment. This new global framework for mutual accountability is built on the foundation of SDG indicators. The UN Statistical Commission, as mandated by the UN General Assembly, developed a global indicator framework with 230 indicators in March 2016 to track the SDGs’ 169 targets. In order to reflect Agenda 2030’s guiding principle of “leaving no one behind,” metrics will be broken down by gender, age, income, region, occupation, and other social identification factors. FAO is the UN’s ‘custodian’ for 21 indicators, including SDGs 2, 5, 6, 12, 14, and 15, as well as a contributing agency for four others.
The first indicator for target 2.a is indicator 2.a.1 which is the agriculture orientation index for government expenditures. The Agriculture Orientation Index (AOI) for Government Expenditures is calculated by dividing the Agriculture Share of Government Expenditures by the Agriculture Share of GDP, with Agriculture referring to agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. The ratio of these two shares is used to generate a currency-free index. This metric will be used to track progress toward SDG Target 2.a. The government expenditure data gives potential for improved food security, reduced inequalities, inclusive growth and the creation of decent jobs. Farmers’ access to modern agricultural technologies, financing services, and information resources improves agricultural production and incomes, contributing to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, particularly in rural areas that are more economically susceptible. Public investment in agriculture is crucial for both supplying these inputs to agricultural workers and attracting private investment. It is indeed very much necessary to increase investments in agriculture due to various reasons such as it is the largest employer of workforce, provides food security to the population, market to non-agricultural products, gives input supply to the non-agricultural sector and also reduction in poverty.
According to the reports by the FAO, it has been found that globally, the agricultural orientation index has only marginally increased since 2001, but this masks wide variations across regions, with progress made in Asia, but declines noted in several other regions. Between 2001 and 2019, the agriculture orientation index (AOI) for government expenditure which compares government expenditure for agriculture, fishery, and forestry with the sector’s contribution to GDP – had a little increase at the worldwide level, rising from 0.52 to 0.53. This is the result of a minor simultaneous increase in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry’s value added share, as well as a larger increase in governmental expenditure committed to these industries. Eastern and South-eastern Asia’s regional AOI increased significantly from 0.64 to 1.06 between 2001 and 2019, owing mostly to China. Other regions, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, saw their AOI drop from 0.17 to 0.13 between 2001 and 2019. During the same time period, similar decreases in AOI were found in Oceania, Europe, and Northern America. The Caribbean (from 0.39 to 0.93), Central America (from 0.28 to 0.34), Central Asia (0.27 to 0.48), and Eastern Asia (from 0.27 to 0.48) all saw significant gains in AOI between 2001 and 2019. (from 0.73 to 1.21). The AOI decreased in the sub-regions of Europe (from 0.50 to 0.38) and Northern America (1.02 to 0.63).
Between 2001 and 2019, the AOI of both Land Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) increased somewhat, from 0.22 to 0.28 and 0.15 to 0.21, respectively. (FAO, 2022),
Climate change, water shortage, diseases & increased natural disasters are among the major challenges in agricultural sector. Increased food demand, shifting consumer tastes, & COVID pandemic which restricts people & products mobility, & supply chain are also serious concerns.
There have been many initiatives taken by the government in order to accomplish these SDGs but still there is still a lot more left to improve in order to achieve them. It is not only the responsibility of the government but as a human being, a citizen, it is also our duty to contribute so that our future generation can live with all the facilities that we are able to enjoy today. Activity such as agripreneurship is the need of the hour.