Sustainable Development Goals And One Health: SDG 2

Sustainable development goal 2 aims to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” or as it is shortened, to achieve “zero hunger” by 2030.

Kid suffering from stomach cramps
Hunger can be very disruptive, especially for growing children

The progress to accomplish this SDG has been set back by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict (not only in Europe, think for example of Ethiopia). Circa 9 percent of the world population is currently considered to suffer from hunger, nearly 690 million people, and 10 million more than there were a year ago. If the current patterns continue, the percentage of people who will regularly go to bed hungry is on the path to increase and could reach almost 10 percent by 2030. Before these disruptions, the percentage of people going hungry was steadily decreasing. Hence, we must find ways to get the work back on track.

According to the International Council for Science, SDG 2 targets can be subdivided into 3 dimensions: the social dimension (ending hunger and improving nutrition), the economic dimension (achieving food security through productivity improvement and income increase), and the environment dimension (promoting sustainable agriculture). In a few words, one can say that the fundamental tenets of this goal are that there can be enough food produced in the world to feed everyone and that this food needs to be produced in a sustainable manner, and that it needs to be fairly distributed. There are paths for attaining both productivity increases (if that is something that is needed) and sustainable production according to the contexts, such as crop rotation, integrated soil fertility, and integrated land and water management. 

Wome working the fields in Asia
Supporting women as farmers could have a major impact on hunger prevalence in the global south

This goal, like all the other SDGs, is linked to the rest of them, as such, it is fundamental to think about the co-benefits and trade-offs that these interactions can create. For example, an important link with SDG 1, no poverty, which was covered last week by my colleague Luca, is agriculture. “According to the World Bank (2007), growth in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in any other sector.” (International Council for Science, 2017). The connection with SDG 4, quality education, which will be described in a few weeks by, once more, my colleague Luca, is chronic undernutrition in children, such as stunting. It has been evidenced that stunting reduces intellectual capacities, which triggers a vicious cycle. Children who do badly in school are not able to contribute as well as their potential would otherwise dictate as adults from an economic standpoint. This feeds into an adult population of low-income earners or jobless individuals, which increases poverty, which then expands and reinforces malnutrition.

The Circular Health approach gives us a key to looking for entry points to create virtuous cycles. An example could be empowering women agriculturalists, especially when they are smallholder farmers. Women are often involved in determining the diet in a household and encouraging and supporting them to be decision-makers can improve the nutritional status and health of household members. ”According to the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization], if women farmers had the same access to agricultural inputs, education, and markets as men the number of hungry people could be reduced by 100–150 million in the 34 countries studied (FAO, 2011)” (International Council for Science, 2017).


By: Olga Muñoz PhD  | Adjunct Assistant Professor


Earth Rebirth. (2022). UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. Retrieved from

International Council for Science. (2017). A Guide To SDG Interactions: from Science to Implementation. J, 33(7), 1–239. Retrieved from

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sustainable Development. (2022). Sustainable development goal 2. Retrieved from


Posted: September 27, 2022

Category: Agriculture, Farm Management, UF/IFAS Research
Tags: Circular Health, Climate Change, Olga Munoz, One Health At UF, Sustainable Development Goals, Transdisciplinarity, UF

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