in: Loewe, Markus / Nicole Rippin (eds.), Translating an ambitious vision into global transformation: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), (Discussion Paper 7/2015), 21-26
Goal 2 is about ending hunger, enhancing food and nutrition security, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Agriculture is viewed as the central element of this goal, therewith endorsing an agricultural, food-based, rural-centred approach. However, to alleviate hunger and promote food security and nutrition, there can be other “means” that are even more important in many countries. Why are non-agricultural development, conflict prevention and/or reduction and social / food security policies not addressed? The problem of food insecurity and malnutrition in urban areas is almost entirely neglected, despite the fact that more than half of the world population lives in urban areas. Finally, both the “utilisation” and the “stability” dimensions of food security are not being adequately addressed: in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, diversification of diet is a key to fighting malnutrition, and diversification of crops and income-generating activities are fundamental to ensure stable access to food. The title of the goal suggests a strong focus on food security and nutrition, which is partly
misleading. Only two targets (Targets 2.1 and 2.2) directly address food security issues, whereas the remaining three targets – as well as the three means of implementation – are about agriculture or, broadly, food availability. The indicators proposed to measure progress towards targets sometimes measure inputs rather than outcomes. There can be important trade-offs within the goal, in particular between the target of doubling agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale farmers and ensuring environmental sustainability. Moreover, there is strong overlap of some targets with other goals, in particular Goal 12 (“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns”) and Goal 15 (“Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”), which highlights the lack of a systemic view of the 2030 Agenda. Finally, the targets referring to hunger and malnutrition are very ambitious, as they call for their elimination by 2030: while it may appear unrealistic, it is important to have this “ideal” benchmark in the target.