FAO Calls for Energy-Smart Food Production

FAO14 June 2012: In a study on energy-smart food, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) stresses that agriculture's dependence on fossil fuels is undermining efforts to build a more sustainable world economy. The study was released in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The paper, which is titled "Energy-Smart Food at FAO: An Overview," notes that world food production consumes 30% of all available energy, most of which occurs after the food leaves the farm. The paper calls for: increasing the efficiency of direct and indirect energy use in agri-food systems; using more renewable energy as a substitute for fossil fuels; and improving access to energy services for poor households. It outlines numerous approaches to adapt practices to become less energy intensive.

The FAO calls for caution in producing energy alongside the agrifood chain. It also describes the FAO's Energy-Smart Food for People and Climate (ESF) Programme, which provides assistance on energy efficiency, energy diversification through renewable energy and improved energy access, and food security through integrated food security and energy production. [FAO Press Release] [Publication: Energy-Smart Food at FAO: An Overview]