Skip to main content

Cornell University

Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition

Policies for Sustainable Food Systems


Over the past 50 years, agricultural growth has contributed to jumpstarting overall economic growth and poverty reduction in many countries, but the progress has not been uniform and has often been accompanied by significant environmental costs. To adequately and sustainably feed the ever-growing population, the sector faces new and greater challenges, for example, declining quantity and quality of the natural resource base that underpins agricultural productivity, evolving food preferences due to rising incomes and growing urbanization, and the impact of climate change. The sector can meet these challenges with both increased and targeted investments in research and development and policies, especially aimed at sustainable intensification of smallholder production systems, increasing climate-change resilience of rural producers, improving input and output market access, reducing food loss and waste, bridging the gender inequality gap, broadening and diversifying the food source base, and promoting conservation and sustainable use of natural resources (e.g., soils, water, and biodiversity).

Read the chapter