Zero Hunger is the number 2 item on the United Nations list of Sustainable Development Goals. Its priority is second to poverty and this goal is to be achieved before or by 2030. Hunger is one of the results of poverty.
Agriculture provides about 40% of world employment.
But yet, about 798 to 800 million people are estimated to be under-nourished and underweight. And some 90 million children under 5 are victims of severe hunger.
In addition, each year, one-third of all food produced worldwide is thrown away.
Africa, particularly, is a major shareholder in this statistics.
People can’t work or be productive on empty stomachs.
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF HUNGER
- Mismanagement and misappropriation of funds meant for agriculture in national budgets
- Poor roads and transport infrastructure to easily convey agricultural products to markets
- Unavailability and shortage of storage and processing facilities leading to waste
- Lack of pest control measures and improved breeds
- People throwing food away. Ironically we live in times where the poor and hungry walk miles to get food while the full ones jog miles to burn calories after eating
- Food price inflation. Reports have made rounds that some countries produce food and dump the excess produce in seas/oceans to stabilize prices in the market. Inflation has also caused hunger due to unaffordability of food
- Exploding population growth that there is not enough food to cater for
- Drought, flooding, war, and communal clashes among others have seen people lose their farms and food stock
The effects of this are
- Malnutrition and malformation
- Unproductivity. No society can be at peak performance if its people are hungry
- Escalated crime rates that include theft and robbery among others
GOALS OF ZERO HUNGER
- End hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular, the poor and people in vulnerable situations by 2030
- By 2030, end all forms of hunger and malnutrition. Including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age
- Double agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers
- Ensure access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
- By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems
- Firstly, prioritize agriculture and food production since it is the mainstay of about 40% of the world population
- Secondly, increasing investment in agricultural research and extension services
- Thirdly, using improved breeds and seeds variety for rearing and cultivation
- Researching new and efficient ways to control pests and diseases
- Practising anti-drought and anti-flooding measures like irrigation farming and good drainage systems. Encourage irrigation farming in and out of farming season
- Ensure food security by not throwing food away in any form whether raw or cooked. Food takes a long trip from wherever it was cultivated to get to your plate
- Adequate and timely delivery of agricultural inputs like fertilizers is important
- Encourage sustainable agricultural practices like small-scale farming and backyard garden
- Stability of power supply and good transport systems and storage facilities for food distribution and preservation
These and many more solutions will not only eliminate hunger but also boost economic growth and increase agricultural productivity for foreign exchange
From India to the United Kingdom and New Zealand among others, food fridges are being installed. Restaurant owners and other individuals who want to prevent food wastage are installing fridges. This caters for the hungry as people can drop food in them for those who need food.
A mobile app in Europe – Too Good To Go – is also fighting food waste. You can buy quality local food for as little as £2 – food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
Hunger knows no age, gender, and ethnicity. It is a universal language.
Find detailed information and statistics on the UNDP site.