One of the United Nations sustainable development goals, specifically the second seeks to achieve food security, improve nutrition, promote sustainable agriculture and most importantly end hunger in all its forms by 2030. The aim is to make sure that everyone, everywhere in the world has enough quality food to lead a healthy life and achieving this goal will need better access to food and the widespread promotion of agricultural processes.
World hunger has been on the news for a long time, but it is recently receiving enormous attention. It has become one of the greatest problems in the world today. Currently, there are about 7.6 billion people in the world and out of this number, more than a billion suffer from hunger. This means that 1 in 6 people on earth suffers from hunger. They do not get enough food to live a healthy life. This year alone, which equates to at least a death every second.
A Brief Insight
Dating back to the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, good progress was made in reducing chronic hunger, but for the past decade, hunger has been slowly but steadily on the rise (according to FAO). The number of hungry people increased between 1995-1997 and 2004-2006 in all regions except Latin America and the Caribbean. But even in this region, gains in hunger reduction have been reversed as a result of high food prices and the current global economic downturn.
The number of undernourished people - those facing chronic food deprivations increased to nearly 821 million in 2017 amounting to about 10.9% of the world’s population, from around 804 million in 2016 and this number keeps increasing at an alarming rate which calls for urgent measures.
But what are the causes of hunger?
Briefly, the major causes of hunger all over the world ranges from conflicts, countries level of economic development, corruption, extreme climate and natural disaster and poverty which happens to be the principal cause of hunger in most part of the world today.
According to the FAO, based on the recent estimate in 2015, the poverty rate is rapidly increasing and 10% of the world population lives on less than $1.90 a day per person
The solution to providing enough food for the world population does not lie in increasing food production; as a matter of fact, there is enough food on the planet to feed everyone. Increasing food production will be adding to the 1.3 billion estimated tonnes of food that gets wasted every year (according to the FAO, 2018). We believe what can make a difference is technology. The use of technology to battle world hunger will not only bring the rate of wasted food to a minimal level but may possibly eliminate the very existence of hunger itself.
The Battle Against World Hunger
Majority of the food we consume comes from rural communities, and it is not a hidden fact that these rural communities lack proper communication means and proper information on food security and preservation. If rural based farmers are equipped with advanced technological devices that can give them meteorological updates, latest in food markets and evolving food preservation processes among others, food loss will no longer be a problem and food supply will be enhanced in adequate proportions to the world’s population.
Technology will also be a good tool in the aspect of food logistics, whereby food will be transported to various destinations irrespective of the food type and the distance to where it is transported. A smooth technological process where food items will be delivered to targeted areas at the expected time will see hunger fade away because, scenarios, where food items get stuck, while been transported, wouldn’t come into play anymore. More so, foods with lower shelf life can get to areas where they are needed without losing their nutritional benefits and/or aesthetic properties.
One-third of the food produced for human consumption in the world end up wasting according to a study commissioned by the United Nations food agency. This could be because the link between the farmers and agro-processors is impeded or due to the inability to preserve these foods. has recently launched a technological innovation called where we solve the problem of supply base by optimizing the supply chain processes of agro-processors which in turn increases their demand of farmers harvests in northern Nigeria.
In the transportation of perishable foods like tomato and beverages after harvest from the farm to the final consumer, the chances that a good number of these items would keep its value under the “current transportation condition” is low. So a good preservation technique will go a long way in saving a lot of food. Nevertheless, If preservation processes are not feasible, then intense research centered around technology should be carried out on all food items such that their resistance to harsh environmental conditions is boosted irrespective of how long they stay under these conditions, their nutritional value remains intact
Wisdom of the Crowds
Technology will be the most effective weapon to tackle the problem of world hunger. This is evident in the major breakthroughs seen in many fields and areas of life.
Technology has been able to shrink the ‘amount’ in time, the ‘length’ in space and the use of resources in carrying out different processes. So, with proper incorporation of technology into the problem of world hunger, the challenge will definitely nosedive.
THE STATE OF FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION IN THE WORLD (2018). Retrieved from: www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/
How technology could strengthen global food security (2015). Retrieved from: www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/03/food-security-s-social-network
Understanding Poverty. Retrieved from:
[Accesssed 14 March 2019]