One-third of the world's 7.3 billion people are smallholder farmers and their families who produce nearly 70 percent of all food consumed worldwide on 60 percent of the planet's arable land. For what sounds like a major part of the global economy, you would expect these farmers to be relatively well off and financially secure. But they aren't. In fact, they represent the majority of the poorest and hungriest people on earth.
Feeding our growing population with a sustainable, healthful diet is a global challenge. In the Middle East and North Africa this challenge is particularly complex. However, this region has an enormous amount of innovation, technology, resources and expertise. Let's use them to build a food system that has at its core the provision of sustainable, nutritious diets accessible to all.
The past few years of upheaval in how people grow, cook, think about, and eat food has left no corner of the supermarket untouched. Even bread, that most ancient, simple, beloved staple of diets around the world, has been the subject of both crisis and passionate revitalization. But behind every machine-sliced sandwich bread or carefully crafted artisan loaf is a simple question of language.