Food Chain Reaction brought global food security to the forefront of the conversation as players worked to address impending threats head on.
The exercise was a learning experience for players and organizers alike. Through this innovative approach, we were able to look into the future and observe how public- and private-sector leaders would likely address a burgeoning food security crisis. And we learned a lot.
The game took place over a ten-year time frame through four rounds of play. At the game began, players were slow to take concrete actions. However, as the game progressed and disruptions to food security grew more acute, they began collaborating and taking bolder actions. We found:
- Instability and volatility are the “new normal,” and both are inevitably linked to food security.
- Because food security and climate are linked, climate-smart agricultural is necessary.
- Global collaboration is essential.
- Long-term investments in agricultural research and development will create a more food secure future.
- Building new information sharing systems will enhance food security.
- Long-term solutions require better global governance.
Based on the findings from the game, we developed three key recommendations.
- Address the Knowledge Gap
- This will allow public and private sector decision-makers to detect and address disruptions to the global food system before they occur and develop into a crisis.
- Address the Productivity Gap
- This will require investments by the public and private sectors to increase agricultural productivity in low-income countries in a sustainable manner and to restore degraded lands for agriculture.
- Address the Collaboration Gap
- This will mean creating forums to promote communication and collaboration between leaders in times of crisis and finding ways to engage public and private decision-makers on global food security issues.
There is no single solution to securing the global food system. However, if we recognize and address the challenges now, we have a much better chance of minimizing the risks and adapting to rising crises. Food security is an issue that will become increasingly urgent and relevant as climate change stays its course and we need to be ready to face these issues head on.