With the majority of the world’s undernourished populations living in rural areas, addressing challenges related to poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in these areas is key. I recently had the privilege of presenting lessons from country successes at the 22nd International Consortium on Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR) Conference held in partnership with the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
Rural areas present great opportunities for ending poverty, hunger, and malnutrition. To leverage these opportunities, revitalizing rural areas by improving living conditions in rural areas will be important. Improving rural infrastructure, as seen under South Korea’s “New Village Movement,” and enhancing rural development support, as done in the European Union through direct payments and special funds, are some key examples. Equally important in rural revitalization is the promotion of rural-urban linkages and rural empowerment. Promoting improved access to technologies, such as the US initiative to support broadband connectivity in rural areas, as well as niche opportunities for community-led empowerment initiatives like Thailand’s One Tambon One Product have shown success.
The summit highlighted the impact that new value chains and technology hold for rural farmers, and how policy and institutions will play a role. Transforming rural areas is key to creating inclusive and sustainable human and planetary health, and successful rural transformations. I look forward to continued partnership with various stakeholders in driving rural revitalization forward as an inclusive and sustainable strategy to end hunger and poverty.