- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have launched the Atoms4Food initiative.
- The initiative aims to enhance agricultural productivity, reduce food losses, ensure food safety, and improve nutrition.
- Atoms4Food will provide seven assessment services tailored to the specific needs of countries.
- The initiative builds on nearly 60 years of experience in using nuclear and isotope technology for food security.
- The program seeks to address the rising global hunger and malnutrition challenges.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched a new flagship initiative, Atoms4Food, to tackle growing hunger and malnutrition worldwide. The initiative aims to support countries using innovative nuclear techniques to enhance agricultural productivity, reduce food losses, ensure food safety, and improve nutrition.
Addressing Global Hunger
“We find ourselves in an unprecedented time, where hunger and malnutrition are on the rise, posing a threat to humanity,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu in a joint statement. FAO estimates that between 691 and 783 million people faced hunger in 2022, and over 40% of the global population could not afford a healthy diet.
Innovative Nuclear Techniques
Atoms4Food will utilize nuclear techniques to speed up the natural process of plant mutation, develop crops that better withstand diseases and climatic shifts, and assess nutrient and water use in soil. The initiative will also focus on diagnosing and characterizing disease pathogens in animals, tracing water contamination sources, and studying various forms of malnutrition.
The initiative will offer seven assessment services, including Crop Variety Improvement, Soil and Water Management, Animal Production and Health, Insect Pest Control, Food Safety and Control, and Public Health Nutrition. These services will be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each country.
Partnerships and Collaboration
Based on country-specific assessments, the IAEA and FAO will collaborate with other UN Agencies, international financial institutions, development agencies, and research institutions to deliver the long-term outcomes of Atoms4Food. Comprehensive packages will be developed for each country, including support for infrastructure and capacity-building in the use of nuclear techniques for food security.
A Long History of Collaboration
The initiative builds on the almost 60 years of experience that the IAEA and FAO have jointly developed in supporting countries to use nuclear and isotope technology solutions to enhance food security, nutrition, and food safety.
Image provided by IAEA