Climate change, water scarcity and soil depletion are some of the threats that threaten it globally.
The availability, access and consumption of nutritionally adequate food are the three pillars on which the concept of food security is based on. Climate change, water scarcity and soil depletion are some of the threats that threaten it globally.
The demands from the growing and more affluent populations gave rise to unsustainable farming techniques to increase production in the shortest amount of time, often sacrificing the quality and actual nutrition of the produce as well as harming the environment.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned of the many paradoxes in the world, such as the fact that in recent years hunger has increased alongside other forms of malnutrition such as obesity.
Undernourishment and hunger make people less productive and more likely to suffer disease. This prevents them from raising their income and improving their standard of living.
The food and farming industries are vital in eliminating hunger, poverty and health of the people. Under good, responsible management they could feed the entire planet and generate income, foster development among the rural population and protect our environment.
However, according to the United Nations (UN), one third of the food we produce worldwide goes to waste. That means approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets thrown away every year. The latest report by the FAO estimates that in 2019 almost 690 million people went hungry around the world (nearly 60 million more than in 2014), with 135 million people from 55 countries and territories suffering acute food insecurity. In the 55 countries undergoing a food crisis, 75 million children suffered stunted growth and 17 million were emaciated or reduced to just skin and bones (the worst level of acute food insecurity) in 2019.
Chronic malnutrition or stunted growth increase the risk of children dying from common infections and are also associated with deficient cognitive development.
Malnutrition is concentrated in Asia and Africa, with countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya having declared famine in 2017. But hunger also troubles many areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, where food insecurity continues to rise.
It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 2 billion more people on the planet, but we will have 25 % less land on which to grow crops. This calls for sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practice to end hunger and achieve food security and safety, better nutrition and more sustainable farming.