Li, X, Siddique, KHM. Future Smart Food: Harnessing the potential of neglected and underutilized species for Zero Hunger. Matern Child Nutr. 2020; 16( S3):e13008. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.13008
Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: ‘Zero Hunger’—eradicating all forms of hunger and malnutrition—is a major challenge in many developing countries. To be successful, agriculture and food policies need to target both production and consumption. Conventional agri-food systems in developing countries could become more sustainable through agricultural diversification. In Asia, over-reliance on a few staple crops is a leading cause of low dietary diversity and persistent malnutrition. Promising neglected and underutilized species (NUS) that are nutrient dense, climate resilient, economically viable, and locally available or adaptable have been prioritized as Future Smart Food (FSF) and have a central role to play in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. An enabling environment for agriculture diversification with a food system approach—to promote sustainable production, processing and consumption of FSF—is essential for achieving Zero Hunger. This article (a) provides the context of hunger and malnutrition and highlights the features and gaps in current agriculture and food systems, (b) demonstrates the multidimensional benefits of FSF as an effective means to bridge production and nutrition gaps to address Zero Hunger and (c) offers a holistic food systems approach that promotes sustainable production, processing and consumption of FSF as a key element for achieving Zero Hunger.