Global Food Crisis and Solutions
A food crisis is looming around the world. Many developing countries have already been hit by the crisis while the developed nations are getting a limited supply of food. Many individuals are opting to cut down on food portions to reduce the once so common wastage of food. The topic of food crisis has become a common topic of discussion in the media. While some people believe that the crisis is being triggered by the ever-rising human population, environmentalists are blaming unchecked anthropogenic activities on the food crisis (Masters, 2008). The question that many people are asking themselves is whether it will be possible to reverse the problem. The Paris Treaty is being rechecked by many nations as it could be one of the plausible solutions to the looming crisis. There is an urgent need to put in place sustainable measures to resolve the looming food crisis.
Climate change is one of the limitations on food production. There has been a rapid change in the natural eco-systems that have altered the soil structure as well as rainfall patterns thereby affecting food production. Many parts of the world that previously received abundant rainfall during specific seasons are presently experiencing longer dry periods that discourage farming. Floods and other environmental extremes are significantly affecting not only crop production but also livestock farmers (Nellemann, 2009). The adverse effects of climate change are felt mostly by the poor communities who rely on the natural resources like rainfall to irrigate the farms and provide water for the animals. This explains why Sub-Saharan Africa is commonly hit by droughts that kill livestock and people and destroys the farms (Mancosu, Snyder, Kyriakakis, & Spano, 2015). Countries that rely on the modern farming tools have often boosted food production by relying on modern farming methods and technology. This is slowing changing as those countries, like Mexico, the USA and even China are being hit by natural disasters like hurricanes thus creating vulnerability in food production. Climate change has also affected the length and quality of the growing season. Crops take longer in the farms due to insufficient nutrients in the soils (McPherson, 2008).
Increasing numbers of people in the world due to low mortality rates have significantly increased the demand for food. According to the World Food Program, the low-income families, women are poor farmers are being adversely affected by the shortage (Agenda, 2017). The law of nature dictates that resources must always balance with the population for prosperity. However, with the surge in human population, food resources are being rapidly depleted such that a part of the population is being left to suffer. The low-income earners are often affected as they cannot afford the food prices that are high due to increasing demands. Countries with the highest number of food insecurity often have the highest population growth (McPherson, 2008).
To prevent a food crisis from happening, there is an urgent need for the traditional farming methods to precision farming that relies on real-time data to manage farms. Traditional agriculture was best for the period when rainfall was predictable and the harvesting schedule predetermined. With the climate change, there is the need for the agricultural sector to adopt digital methods that can help in maximizing yield at the same time ensuring sustainable practices (Agenda, 2017). There are digital machines that allow farmers to remotely monitor sensors that detect soil moisture, the crop growth and even how the livestock feed. The result is that the farmers get to ensure that the farms are well irrigated and wastage in farms reduced. The data gathered can then be used to improve farming, for example, instead of watering areas that have been irrigated the water can be transferred to dry areas (McPherson, 2008). Second, weather forecasts can also be integrated into precision farming. Crop failure is often attributed to unpredictable weather patterns. However, when the weather forecasting is integrated into both planting and harvesting, it is possible to make better decisions that can aid in solving food crisis.
Public and private institutions that can effectively respond to the new goals of sustainability should be developed. These institutions should invest in the community well-being and protect as well as restore the natural resources in the farming areas. These policies will encourage investment of Agriculture in the affected areas thus resolving food security issue (Masters, 2008). The institutions should also put a check on pollution, environmental degradation and the nutritional value of foods.
Weather and soil digital analytics can also help during harvesting and transportation. The data can be used to determine the right time of harvesting and the distribution routes that should be taken (Masters 2008). Also, food wastage through recall can be used as the habits that destroy foods during supply can be contained. These are some of the changes that can be implemented to prevent a food crisis from developing.
To eliminate starvation globally, the United Nations pushed for the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals thus successfully reducing the proportion of undernourished people in the developing nations between 2002 and 2015 (McPherson, 2008). Besides, the number of underweight children successfully reduced from one in four to only one child in seven. The World Food Program responds to hunger emergencies worldwide by supplying food in schools and affected communities (McPherson, 2008). The World Bank also invests in Agriculture in many countries to boost food production the world over. It partners with farmers to improve food security by encouraging farming techniques that are climate resistant, rearing resistant breed of crops and animals and also improving the water supply to farms. The Food and Agriculture Organization ensures that people have regular access to high-quality food as well as staying healthy. They run programs the world over where they supply food to drought-stricken areas as well as areas hit by disasters. Finally, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural communities to eliminate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty (McPherson, 2008). In the impoverished rural parts of Africa, the organization strives to improve the lives of people through agricultural development they fund. Through this, they can raise the income status of many families.
Several things can be done to ensure everyone has adequate food in the future. First, there is need to reconsider the farming practices the world over. Farmers can no longer rely on rain exclusively with the age of global warming. People should be encouraged to embrace modern methods of watering farms like irrigation to ensure the crops become productive. Second, there is need to adopt the use of innovative technology in farms. These technologies improve crop protection and water usage; prevent post-harvest losses thereby ensuring sustainable food production and proper use of resources. Finally, the issue of food recycling, retailing and processing, trade and efficient water use should be addressed. These can ensure the proper use of available water resources.
To sum up, the fact that a global food crisis is around the corner cannot be ignored. This has been triggered by the numerous limitations on food production including climate change. However, with some technological improvements in place, the looming global food crisis can be prevented from ever happening. Already, international organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP), national governments, and non-governmental organizations have shown commitment to eliminating global starvation by rolling out various agricultural projects and programs. The bottom line is that some changes must be implemented to ensure everyone has adequate food in future. Top of the list is that people around the world need to reconsider their farming practices.
Agenda, G. (2017). Shaping the Future of Global Food Systems: A Scenarios Analysis. http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/WEF_FSA_FutureofGlobalFoodSystems.pdf
Mancosu, N., Snyder, R. L., Kyriakakis, G., & Spano, D. (2015). Water scarcity and future challenges for food production. Water, 7(3), 975-992. http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4441/7/3/975/htm
Masters, L. (2008). The global food crisis and the challenge of food security. file:///C:/Users/Inc/Downloads/No-3.The-Global-Food-Crisis-and-the-Challenge-of-Food-Security.pdf
McPherson, P. (2008). The global food crisis: causes and solutions. Statement before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 14. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED508449.pdf
Nellemann, C. (Ed.). (2009). The environmental food crisis: the environment’s role in averting future food crises: a UNEP rapid response assessment. UNEP/Earthprint. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=BO6d5mBc42cC&oi=fnd&pg=PA9&dq=Increasing+population+and+food+crisis+pdf&ots=_BIe6T7DPC&sig=z-4XI-V8M_WPHnyC-JmgKTpP-gI&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Increasing%20population%20and%20food%20crisis%20pdf&f=false