Food security remains one of the biggest problems faced by modern agriculture. Over a billion people worldwide are facing hunger daily: something that can be changed with the right policies, and by involving as many people as possible.
It’s not something that can be done by government action alone: only by the collaboration of farmers and businesses.
There is a yield gap between rich countries of the north and west, and poorer nations of the south and east. This is something that must change in order to help poorer countries prepare for the new influx of population, and their ever-growing demands.
At this point, poor countries have about 60% of the total yield they could create, if they used land to its full potential. This problem is a long term and complicated one, with deep roots in the history of colonization and exploitation. The efforts to change must truly be global.
Plans are being put into action to make as much as 120 million hectares of land useable for farming by 2050.
The use of fertilizer can have long-term impacts on the soil and environment–however, it remains in use around the world, despite efforts to move past it.
In the developed western world, becoming fertilizer free will mean fighting the big businesses that hold power over how we produce our food. In the developing world, change may look a bit different. It is essential to spread awareness there, pertaining to environmental issues and the creation of big businesses that have become such a problem in the west.
Water usage is a major problem when it comes to farming and sustainability–and food security, by default. It can come in the form of water shortages, as well as the inability to use water in productive ways. Water waste and overuse are also key factors.
For instance, foods that are essential to food sustainability require quite a lot of water. It will take some time for farmers to move other more sustainable crops, while still remaining profitable. Governments must come up with long-term policies, providing financial incentives in order for these changes to find their way into the public sphere.
Most food produced today isn’t even consumed by people, but rather by cattle and other livestock. This must change, and a focus on food production must shift to actual human consumption. This, too will require farmers to change what kinds of crops they produce, and that’s never easy.
In the end, one of the biggest problems with food security stems from the fact that too much food is being wasted and thrown away. It is also a matter of public awareness, despite the topic being prevalent in public discourse for some time now. Surrounded by the abundance of the West, it can be difficult to stay aware of the harmful practise of wasting food.
Food security is one of the most important causes that farmers, governments, and the public should work towards. There are still those who are not sure where there next meal is coming from, and policies must be enacted to help them.