29 Jun - 20 Jul 2021

Resilient food systems

SparkBlue • 24 June 2021

Welcome to our discussion on Action Track 5

How do we ensure that food systems are resilient to conflict, climate, environmental, natural, health and economic shocks?Action Track 5

Many countries and communities and their food systems are hit by shocks from conflict, climate, environmental, natural, health, and economic reasons. It is important that our food systems remain functional during such periods of shock. We also need to ensure universal food access. This builds “resilience”, which means guaranteeing that food reaches everyone, either by market mechanisms, public provision, or civic collective actions for food. And to ensure shock-resilient food systems, we need coordinated actions.

Look at some of the actionable solutions that the UNFSS Action Track process and youth have proposed.

  1. Universal food access-enacting food as a public good
  2. Protect food production systems from shocks including climate change, disasters, and conflicts
  3. Strategic food reserve to smooth consumption shocks
  4. Community gardens utilizing vertical farming tools for food security
  5. Diversification of food basket to address climate change
  6. Acknowledge the true value of food
  7. Long term conservation of food diversity in gene banks and in the field

Find additional information in the UNFSS Community Platform


After reading these propositions, let us know what you think, what you can do, and what support is needed to bring the changes you aspire to obtain! You can answer one or all the following questions, using any means you prefer – write a comment, share a picture, compose a song or a poem, or send us a short video:

  1. Is there anything we have missed or that can complement these propositions?
  2. What concrete actions are you, your youth organization, or your community ready to take to ensure that food systems become shock-resilient everywhere?
  3. How do you think Governments and other stakeholders can support youth in achieving the actions identified?
  4. Supposing there were coalitions formed around any of these, which one would you be interested to join?

Comments (19)

Mike Khunga Moderator

Hello everyone and welcome to this amazing discussion group on resilience food systems linked to Action Track 5 of the UN Food System Summit. I am Mike Nkhombo Khunga, I am the Youth vice-Chair for Action Track 5 and I will be moderating this discussion group. I look forward to your thought, ideas and comments on this topic guided by the questions above. Feel free to choose your language in the top right corner.

Ida Stromso

These input come from the "Indigenous Youth Global Declaration on Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems" issued during the Global Indigenous Youth Forum 2021:

1/3 We assert that the Indigenous and biocentric ecological restoration must be urgently prioritized by Member States and relevant stakeholders, as it is the insurance for our collective future on the planet and the surest way to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We call upon the Private Sector and all parties to cease practices causing destruction and contamination of our waters, forests, air and lands.

1/3) We ask Member states to develop emergency preparedness, response and climate change adaptation plans with us, that respect our traditional governance and decision-making processes. We have agency in our preparedness and responses.

1/3) We recommend Member States and the UN Food Systems Summit Secretariat to fully integrate an understanding of the characteristics of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems into the Summit process, as elaborated in The White/Wiphala Paper on Indigenous Peoples' food systems coordinated by the Global-Hub on Indigenous Peoples Food Systems, as well as an understanding of the importance of these food systems for food system transformation towards resilience and sustainability, into the development of new game changing solutions, policy proposals and commitments.

2) We, Indigenous youth, are ready to offer our determination and conviction of the importance of combining innovation with technologies and looking for new ways to stop the disappearance of ancestral knowledge, much of it oral, in our Indigenous Peoples’ communities about plants, animals and ecosystems that constitute the foundations of our cultures, customs, beliefs, cosmogony and language. We are aware of the urgency of looking for new formulas that guarantee the transmission of the knowledge of our peoples before it disappears, along with the departure of our elders, old women and old men.

Ndzerem Ulrich

Long term conservation of food diversity in gene banks and in the field. Over 25% of crop produce in Africa gets bad due to lack of preservation means and expertise. I think we should channel our energy towards preserving food to the last grain by developing expert systems that control food preservation conditions while integrating artificial intelligence to predict food decay and train youth on improved preservation technologies.

Eniola O.

Yes, I totally agree, but we should be mindful of the fact that we can induce the production of poisonous food through some harmful chemicals used in storage. Inasmuch that we need to preserve food for the immediate future, we must not end up producing harmful food for consumption. Can we employ a more natural and safer way to preserve food? Can we resist chemical addition and rather focus of non-invasive, change-of-form for food storage like sun drying, dehydration and rehydration? Just my humble submission 

Juliette Tronchon

Hello everyone! Thanks for organizing this consultation. I only want to insist on the fact that a shift to more plant-based diets will make our current food system more sustainable and climate-resilient, this way helping achieve SDG13. Happy to discuss this further with anyone interested in the topic!


Lisanne van Oosterhoud


Protect food production systems from shocks including climate change, disasters, and conflicts

I believe technology can play a supporting role in this by allowing food producers better access to for instance sensors and data that can predict drought, heavy rainfall, take soil samples, predict pest problems, etc. 

However, it is crucial to make these systems available for the whole community and not just limited to those who can afford it. In addition, it is important to invest in educating the community on how to use, maintain, and build these systems based on their preferences and needs. 

Community gardens utilizing vertical farming tools for food security

Vertical farming is great, however, also very energy consuming. Therefor, is it important to consider this when implementing vertical farming systems. 

Diversification of food basket to address climate change

This goes together with food education; Consumers are often not aware what to do with food they are not used to or have limited knowledge off. The consequence is a lack of adoption of diversification, which could result in more food waste. 

Acknowledge the true value of food

How to define and measure the true value of food? CO2, social impact, nutritional value etc.? 

I believe a key aspect related to this is subsidies, keeping unhealthy, unsustainable products artificially low in price. For instance: Until now, the support a farmer receives has depended on the size of his land. In Europe, that is finally going to change. Some of the income support (25%) will depend on how sustainable the farmer is.



Samba Diallo

Bonjour à toutes et à tous, 

je vais apporter ma contribution dans ce groupe d'échange et de discussion sur la résilience des systèmes alimentaires lié à Action Tracks 5. 


1- Vos 7 solutions sont pertinentes mais peuvent être améliorer.  Je pense que l'une des choses les plus importantes et prioritaires c'est la prévention sur ces chocs à savoir le changement climatique, les conflits, les catastrophes. L'actuelle crise de Covid-19 a bien montré que les systèmes alimentaires ne sont pas rigides. En dehors de la santé, c'est l'alimentation le secteur le plus touché et ce, partout dans le monde. Nous devons être en mesure désormais de pouvoir prévenir ces chocs et penser à adapter les systèmes alimentaires et que même en cas de chocs que cela ne puisse réellement impacter l'alimentation. Les alertes faites par  le GIEC, Groupe d'Expert Intergouvernemental sur l'Evolution du Climat, doivent permettre aux décideurs de prendre les devants et de pouvoir penser à des stratégies de politiques alimentaires qui résisterons à ces futurs changements qui toucheront le climat et par ricochet l'alimentation. Nous le savons tous que notre système alimentaire actuel est peu résilient avec des ressources qui s'épuisent très vite. 

2- Je représente note plateforme KEKA Young innovative leaders for resilient agriculture. Ce plateforme a pour but d'intégrer les jeunes du monde entier dans les processus de réflexion sur la résilience de l'agriculture. Donner l'opportunité de représenter leurs solutions, leurs idées exceptionnelles et des les promouvoir à l'échelle internationale. Contribuer à l'élimination de la faim, à la transformation du système alimentaire et à l'agriculture durable. Nous avons pour but également de forger des partenariats puissants pour créer des opportunités de travail pour les jeunes

3- Les gouvernements  peuvent aider les jeunes à réaliser les actions identifiées à travers une volonté politique réelle d'accompagner les jeunes et de leurs donner les moyens pour atteindre les objectifs visés.  

Laurence Jeangros


The following comment is made on behalf of our youth-led group "Bites of Transfoodmation", in which we have created a vision for the food systems we want in the future in this manifesto.

  1. The seven actions proposed in this track are much in line with the discussions we had within our group, Bites of Transfoodmation. One additional element is that we discussed the need to understand resilience from a  socio-political view: a system might be resilient but oppressive for some actors/communities. Therefore we need to understand resilience as both adaptation and transformation when needed in an oppressive, unsustainable system.
  2. We commit to create initiatives that would help realise the true value of food, understanding food as a common good, and embracing diversity along the whole value chain. This means changes in the way we live, we consider time, we move, we transform and we consume.
  3. Governments should act with urgency in a world with increasing shocks. They should regulate the private sector in order to allow the true value of food to be reflected. This would eventually lead to a diversification of food production and to the understanding of food as a common good.
  4. Our group is particularly interested in the following solutions: Universal food access-enacting food as a public good (1), Protect food production systems from shocks including climate change, disasters, and conflicts (2), Diversification of food basket to address climate change (5), Acknowledge the true value of food (6)
Paola Ribeiro

1. Olá, acredito que quando falamos de resiliência dos sistemas produtivos devemos também falar dos serviços ecossistêmicos. O que são afinal os serviços ecossistêmico? Bom em resumo é tudo o que a natureza nos oferece de benefícios, esses serviços são essenciais para as pessoas e também para os sistemas econômicos, estes são classificados em categorias provisão, regulação, culturais e de suporte. O mais importante, se esses serviços fossem convertidos em valores  monetários custariam bilhões de dólares.

Outra questão importante é a relação dos produtores rurais na conservação dos recursos naturais, acredito que a conservação está ligada ao uso, quando o produtor entende a importância de um recurso natural e o mesmo também lhe oferece um benefício consequentemente ele irá usar com responsabilidade e até auxiliar na conservação.

Poderia acrescentar a discussão a  agroecologia, uso de sistemas agroflorestais, agricultura sintrópica, plantio direto, rotação de culturas, fixação biológica de nitrogênio, adubação verde, que visam a conservação dos ecossistemas agrícolas e naturais.

2. Acredito muito no poder da ação e do diálogo, ainda existe uma barreira entre o que é produzido nas universidades e o que chega de fato ao produtor como tecnologia e manejo. Acredito que possa atuar nessa transferência de informação.

3. Os governos através de politicas públicas de incentivo e assistência técnica podem auxiliar os produtores na mudança de pensamento, e auxílio financeiro. Considerando que, no nosso caso Brasil, existe uma diversidade de solos, sistemas produtivos que podem ser adaptados a cada região, levando assim a diferentes formas de produzir que não só no modelo convencional, com um grande carga de insumos. As pessoas de modo geral podem conhecer mais o campo, atualmente vemos uma grande disparidade entre campo e cidade, muitas vezes os produtores são julgados por sua forma de produzir e até culpados por diversos problemas ambientais, mas o  que as pessoas da cidade fazem pelos ecossistemas, qual o real valor dos produtores na conservação? Acredito que uma das soluções é através da informação .


Trent McKnight

Education is critical improving nutrition.  Action Track 4 highlights School-Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) as a means to improve livelihoods for women, smallholder farmers and youth.  However, SBAE also equips school-aged youth as problem solver, through an experiential learning methodology, preparing them with leadership, entrepreneurial and life skills to be resilient leaders of tomorrow.  

We cannot have resilient food systems if we aren't forward thinking; and we cannot be forward thinking without engaging school-aged youth (the future) while they are still in schools.  

SBAE requires government support through Ministries of Education and Agriculture.  President Kenyatta formally launched 4-K, Kenya's SBAE program, Kenya's SBAE program, last month.  More countries should follow Kenya's leadership.

Other organizations, such as the Future Farmers of America4-H Korea, and 4-H Liberia, are among the many SBAE organizations with historic government partnerships.  

My organization has launched The Movement for School-Based Agricultural Education -- a movement intended to bring together youth organizations, donors and agriculture groups interested in creating an enabling environment for SBAE.  

If youth are going to be the leaders of tomorrow's resilient food and agriculture systems, we must reach them where they live and learn -- in their local school -- today.  

Mike Khunga Moderator

I absolutely agree with you Trent, SBAE is critical in ensuring the transition of knowledge from what Children learn in class to practical ways of handling things. The other aspect is to broader  SBAE to incorporate areas of science and innovation while promoting local production for local consumption. Children in schools should be empowered to understand the use of Agri technologies  and explore areas of food processing and value addition

Mike Khunga Moderator

Ida, These are really strong points. Understanding the role of indigenous people and indigenous knowledge is key for resilience and that is the reason AT5 will soon launch a coalition on Local Production for Local consuption. These coalitions will be lead by member states ensuring great commitments and coverage

Mike Khunga Moderator

@ Ndzerem and Eniola. Food preservation is very necessary to reduce wastage but indeed we must strike a balance between the use of natural methods to preserve food and artificial ways. The idea to predict food decay is very importan

Hilary Hao

My thoughts + answers to the discussion guide above:

  1. 1. TOTALLY AGREE that food is a basic public good. Food + Water + Shelter are fundamental social goods that must be addressed before citizens will care about the environmental and economic aspects of sustainability
  2. With the growing prevalence of the city (the human-created ecosystem habitat), is it of top priority that we all look at developing a sustainable process for the urbanization of food (which includes community gardens and vertical farms)
  3. We also need to give farmers agency in food and seed diversity.
  4. Our Manila branch of the youth organization Global Shapers Community brings together private sector, government, international NGOs, Non-profit organizations, civil society, and youth to discuss on food systems topics such as sustainable consumption and ending hunger
  5. Government should really take greater strides in involving and listening youth in these discussion
Pike Ng'oma

Happy to be here! I was missing a lot outside. ...am from Malawi. I love agroforestry work

My contribution on the topic!

One of the best ways to make food sustainable is by the use of cheap and locally available agriculture systems.


The systems should be built in line with climate change. The systems should support a biodiversity of food crops in agroforestry way that would allow crops .. trees ...shrubs...and animals use while improving agricultural production.


The use of herbicides and pesticides shouldn't taken into use as this degrades soils and kills beneficial micro organisms.


The field itself should allow water harvest during both rains and irrigation.  

Farmers are food producers, especially small scale farmers and they shall always be. What is needed is to empower them and feed them with the right techniques for farming...

Regenerative agriculture is the way to go as the planet is meeting difficult challenges to survive.

Am the teacher of indigenous farming technology in Malawi and am training over 226 farmers on this ..... its food all year round for the small farmers.

Indigenous farming systems -forest gardens

Mateusz Ciasnocha

Transition at scale to regenerative agriculture - what both the European Carbon Farmers and the Farm of Francesco are promoting - supported by policy changes from action-based to result-based payments are critical for the transition of food systems towards net-zero, nature-positive and resilient ones.



Post-covid-19 challenges: resilient food systems to climate change and pandemics!!

1- Is there anything we have missed or that can complement these propositions?
- Africa has the youngest population and the African economy is based on agriculture. The state, through fiscal facilitations, must make agriculture pleasant and resilient

- Creation of training structures for young people in sustainable agricultural practices, creation of sustainable agricultural plantations

- Construction of local transformation institutions with recycling and environmentally friendly mechanisms

- National developer of sustainable production and processing in order to facilitate obtaining marketing labels for agricultural products In this sense, act for FAO and WTO consultation in order to lead to reforms so that food security and the environment are a condition for international trade.

- Protect against shocks, that is to say provide elastic supply chains to adapt to exceptional circumstances such as COVID-19 and to readjust after the shock.

- Have cereal reserves to protect agricultural biodiversity

2- What concrete actions are you, your youth organization, or your community ready to take to ensure that food systems become shock-resilient everywhere?
The KEKA platform, Young innovative leaders for Resilient agriculture of which I am the founder, focuses one of its reflections on the commercial security of cotton in Mali, in order to make the sector more resilient, respectful of the environment and a real source. decent income for agricultural producers.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12539751

Web site under counstruction: https://www.kekaagri.com/


3- How do you think Governments and other stakeholders can support youth in achieving the actions identified?
- Create a national platform where young people can register their various projects and start-ups in order to obtain adequate funding.

- There is a need to create public-private partnerships between local banks and youth businesses.

- Partner with youth networks like the KEKA platform, so that young people can participate in decision-making processes and contribute their innovative ideas for sustainable food systems policies.

4- Supposing there were coalitions formed around any of these, which one would you be interested to join?

All, because we believe that there is an intrinsic link between the different coalitions. We must work together to achieve sustainable food systems.

Selma bichbich

My contribution:

-To make sure that our food is well preserved, and ensure its sustainability we have always to open the floor to agriculture by facilitating the purchase of the needed tools for more outcomes since they are the first people who know how can we make our food sustainable, diverse and enough instead of wasted.

-Benefit from the knowledge of indigenous people who do know about the best ways to more products that are based on biodiversity of food crops.

-Come up with ideas and tools that can help in irrigation instead of focusing on rain all time, for example, one of the projects that I have seen has invented a tool that can help to use less water when watering the corps in a very short period of time, now such tools will definitely help out the farmers and facilitate their work and for sure will bring a lot of gain without too much pain.

-Now because my country is a perfect place where youth can have the chance to love agriculture and to know more about it, it would be more than awesome to open the floor for them to engage, suggest and implement projects and actions that prove our food and agriculture, instead of keep wasting it.


Echai Bruno

It's great contributing here.

To make our food systems more resilient, i think we must consider the type of input used on our food systems. Because some farmers wants to make some quick money or meet demand of their produces, many turn to use agricultural inputs that are poisonous to the food systems and destroy the environment. Educating farmers on the use of environmentally friendly inputs their production (some farmers will use whatever to produce enough food not caring it's effects on consumers or the environment), use improved agricultural technologies that minimizes the induction of harmful waste in to food systems and water bodies, use good agricultural practices on our soils among others will go a long way to make our food systems resilient. 

Agricultural inputs must follow standards before they are allowed to reach local farmers who sometimes have limited knowledge on their usage and tend to abuse them.

I think training or educating farmers on how to make our food systems resilient and sustainable it's the key here