Written by: Shamil Aisaule, Ali Zhansaya, Bekbayeva Yrysty
One of the most pressing issues of our time is food insecurity. Food is a basic indicator of a sustainable life since the level of food supply for the population is considered the most important factor and determines the standard of living, the viability of the economic system, and the polity of each country. The level of nutrition of the population characterizes the level of economic development of the country as a whole.
The food security of any state is an integral part of its national security. Improving populations’ food provisions is an important socio-economic task, the solution of which is of great importance for each state. Ensuring food security is the most relevant area of interstate cooperation, as it covers a wide range of national, economic, social, demographic and environmental factors.
It is a global problem, which affects the availability of food production and access to farming lands, necessary to provide the growing population with a sufficient amount of nutrition, as well as international conflicts and market disruptions. As The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, the UN is concerned about the given topic as well. By dedicating SDG 2 to achieve zero hunger, it represents a fight against hunger, achieving food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture.
About 795 million people are undernourished with the majority living in developing countries or rural areas. According to poverty demographics, smallholder farmers account for 70% of the financially disadvantaged population because they are reliant on agriculture. (HLPE, 2013). Technology development is a key success factor in addressing the various aspects of food insecurity, as existing and emerging technologies can address poor development of agriculture and four dimensions of food security.
Enhancing agricultural and livestock productivity can be done by increasing water availability and precise integration, scheduling of inputs for increased yield. Rainwater harvesting mechanisms, canal irrigations, and farm management software and applications can work as an example. Farm software can simplify agrarian’s lives, by covering a wide range of activities like crop rotation, water saturation, pesticide control, and even yield prognosis. Another example of innovations in ensuring food security is conventional crossbreeding which is widely used in numerous regions. For example, New Rice for Africa (NERICA) rice varieties are hybrid combinations of African and Asian rice species. Therefore, Farmers in the Peruvian highlands used conventional methods involving the genetic improvement of plants and biotechnology support to develop rustic varieties adapted to the harsh climatic and environmental conditions. (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2017).
A mild climate, gender-sensitive technology development and distribution methods, and regional and global collaboration are all beneficial in fostering agricultural innovation. To fully realize the potential of such technologies for food security, however, investment in research and development, human capital, infrastructure, and knowledge flows is required. Rural residents are the most vulnerable to food insecurity in every state, due to limited access to food and financial resources, which can put them in financial trouble (FAO, IFAD, and WFP 2015).
Malnutrition is a worldwide challenge since it has a considerable impact on state economies, product innovations, and politics, slowing down the development process.
Food insecurity has an economic effect in the fact that it cuts down economic growth. This problem is most prevalent in dry-land developing countries when domestic food production is insufficient to meet population demands (UNEP, 2011). Agriculture and animal husbandry are the sectors in charge of local production and state-level nourishment. However, due to their incapacity to offer consuming products, many countries, are forced to import commodities from countries with sophisticated agriculture and economic conditions. Although America, China, Germany, and Japan are the top importers of food from other countries, they are also the top exporters. Nonetheless, food insecurity is widespread in nations like Afghanistan, Burundi, and Cameroon, which are unable to grow their own food for a variety of reasons (Lanessa Cago, 2017). As a result, food security is strongly dependent on self-sufficiency, and agricultural and farming sectors must be sustainable in order to provide nutritional security.
One of the key aspects that has a direct impact on food availability is the foreign exchange rate. It has an impact on both tradable and non-tradable goods pricing (FAO). Food security deteriorates as food prices rise; hence, an unstable foreign exchange rate directly affects the issue of food self-sufficiency.
Legislative power plays a significant role in reducing food insecurity and mitigating threats. There are many organizations and institutions dedicated to addressing food insecurity and improving nutrition. One of the largest is The World Food Programme which supports 86.7 million people in 83 countries and provides food supply. It focuses on nutrition emergency places and working communities and targets mothers and children in developing countries.
Apart from that, on October 11, 2018, The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act was officially signed by President Trump and passed with unanimous support from both the Senate and House of Representatives (GFSA, 2017). This establishes the continuation of Feed the Future, for the next five years, and provides constant support of all U.S. agencies operating to resolve food security and malnutrition. Feed the Future was originally established in 2010, during the food crises around the world. The GFSA is a great success for food-insecure communities around the globe fighting hunger.
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2.FAO, IFAD and WFP (2015). The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Meeting the 2015 international hunger targets: taking stock of uneven progress. FAO, Rome.
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5.Lanessa Cago. (2017). Countries Most Dependent On Others For Food. Retrieved from: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-countries-importing-the-most-food-in-the-world.html
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7.United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2017). The role of science, technology and innovation in ensuring food security by 2030. New York, NY, USA: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.