To feed a growing population and to do that within the planetary boundaries, the whole food system requires to be overturned.
[Water]: At the EU level, 13 EU states have already declared to be affected by desertification. Italy is the second most affected country in the EU by hydrogeological catastrophes: abnormal winters and prolonged periods of water absence are inevitably jeopardizing farmlands and food production that is part of the Italian cultural heritage.
[Nutrition for All]: Animal-based food provides about 31% of proteins consumed in human diets, but they also profoundly impact the water, land, and carbon footprint. As an example, between 40-50% of the global grain is used for animals’ feed production.
[Waste & Circular Systems]: Frequent justifications for supermarkets to rejected food from farms concern aesthetic imperfections in weight, size, shape, and appearance of crops. On the other hand, inadequate access for small farmers to storage facilities exacerbates the risks for food loss, just as premature harvesting.
[Climate & Earth Regeneration]: 80% of the arable land available is already in use while the rate of groundwater depletion has doubled compared to the period between 1960 and 2000.
Participants will explore the leading climate-smart solutions applicable to agriculture, such as intelligent power systems, precision agriculture tools, farm management software, affordable sensors that can contribute to monitor and optimize water efficiency, soil productivity, and agricultural production. Innovation also includes investigating new farming practices, as innovative ways to manage manure, rediscover pasture rotation practices, nutrients, water and energy recycle, and innovative feeding techniques. In this sense, also the new market of alternative proteins and new foods, such as plant-based meat and dairy mimics, will be investigated.