CropLife America is pleased to see encouraging news in the area of food hunger. A new report titled, State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015, shows that hunger is decreasing even with exponential population growth. Over the past 25 years, the number of people who are hungry has declined from one billion to about 795 million, or about one person out of nine. This means that about 2 billion people have avoided a “likely state of hunger” given the global population increase of 1.9 billion people since 1990-92. Recently published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program, the report shines a light both on how hard countries have worked to meet the global food demand as well as areas that are still in need of help.
Multiple factors have contributed to the decrease in global hunger, including stable political conditions and overall economic growth in many countries. The expansion of primary sectors ─ mainly agriculture, fisheries and forestry ─ has also made a significant impact. Targeted assistance has addressed the specific needs of and improved diet quality for the most vulnerable groups of people. Notably, the report found that integrating family farmers and small holders in rural areas into well-functioning markets for food, inputs and labor helps reduce hunger and malnutrition among the poor in rural areas.
No matter how promising the news, we have much work to do. In Africa alone, 24 countries are facing a food crisis. Globally, 800 million people are currently suffering from hunger. Much of the problem stems from “extreme weather events, natural disasters, political instability and civil strife,” according to the report. The lack of access to food, water and resources is also causing civil and political problems in many areas. Eradicating hunger worldwide will not be an easy task, but through persistence and a devotion to agricultural development, we can come closing to achieving this goal.
Already, modern agriculture and advancements in pesticide technology have contributed greatly to the decline in world hunger. Farmers are producing more food than ever before while reducing their environmental footprint. In 1940s, one farmer produced enough to feed 11 people; today one farmer produces enough food for 150 people. Modern ag’s call to action is clear: ensure that every person has access to food now and for years to come. For more information on how crop protection products allow farmers to produce more while being good stewards of the land, download CLA’s infographic, The Role of Conservation Agriculture: Progression at Work.