The Role of the Agricultural Industry in Attaining the SDGs
SDGs 2: Zero Hunger; 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
When the SDGs were created in 2015, Agrium recognized that these 17 goals provided a structure that we could both work within and meaningfully contribute to. An enticing prospect, to be sure. We see the goals as ambitious, but interrelated, meaning that we see how progress towards one goal can have a positive ripple effect on others as well.
In the agriculture industry, we have seen firsthand how an increased crop yield can not only reduce hunger by increasing the amount of food available but by selling the surplus, can open a number of extraordinary opportunities that would otherwise not be available for farming families currently living at subsistence levels.
“We see the goals as ambitious, but interrelated… we see how progress towards one goal can have a positive ripple effect on others as well.”
We know that having increased availability of locally grown food contributes to achieving goal SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and by having excess product to sell, this increases economic growth (SDG 8). With extra income and food security, farming families have the opportunity to focus on other priorities. This creates a ripple effect — increasing the families’ abilities to access things like medical care (SDG 3) and education (SDG 4). Women growers make up a significant portion of the agricultural community, and the world has seen time and again how increased educational or economic opportunities for women and girls mean monumental gains for family and community as a whole (SDG 5).
Agrium also works to reduce nutrient losses and protect our water and the environment, by advancing programs and education for youth and growers alike about ensuring that nutrients are used according to the 4Rs: “Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, and Right Place.” This framework, known as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship System, places Agrium in a unique position to contribute to the achievement of SDGs 14 and 15 — Life Below Water and Life on Land.
The 17 SDGs represent the biggest global challenges of our time, but we believe they also represent our most significant opportunity to help make the world a better place to live in — for everyone, everywhere.