World Food Day: Challenges To Tackle And Way Forward

Originally Published On BW Businessworld |

The Global Climate Risk Index, 2017 ranks India second in a fatality-wise score, which is an improvement because India topped the list in 2013. India had a record horticulture production with 2, 99,853 metric tonne and more than 272 million tonnes of food grain production estimates. It is remarkable as we are still talking about the poor position of Global Hunger Index. Whatever may be the reasons, it is something that we may not have thought about. Since the end of World War II the world is on the constant move. Hunger, poverty, natural disasters, conflicts, and so on have forced millions of people to flee their homes, may be the world is about to witness a major transition in human race.

Among all these factors natural disasters and conflicts have had the greatest roles; the latter caused by criminals, warmongers, and power thirsty politicians and the former, on the other hand, sounds natural but findings on climate change show human role in these disasters as well. During the conflicts and disasters most vulnerable groups are the people living in rural areas, that means food producers, which is a major concern for the nation like India, as neither our borders are very friendly (either due to conflict or due to illegal immigration). 

Today the great migrations have created complicated challenges which needs international action. Most migrants prefer a destination within their borders but when migrants and refugees pass the borders, tensions arise more dangerously due to limited resources and lack of acceptance from their neighbors. Livelihoods of three quarters of the people suffering extreme poverty is based on agriculture and other rural activities and India is no exception when it comes to security of economic interest of the last line of the citizens, therefore any program dealing with the migration challenge needs to create situations for these people, especially the youth, to stay in their home towns.

Rural development not only can create job opportunities, but also increases food security, income of residents, and in general social security. It reduces dispute over natural resources, as well, in addition to providing solutions for environmental damages. Investment in rural development empowers international community to help the displaced people return and rebuild their home towns, in this way the affected areas and their neighbors’ chance to develop sustainably improves. On the other hand, politicians, statesmen and stateswomen should work hand in hand to maintain peace and stability to prevent new conflicts and new waves of migrations, and make migration a choice, not a necessity.

On the eve of World Food Day let us pray for nations of all countries never have to deal with obstacles such as war, food shortage, poor hygiene, natural disasters. People in Haiti, South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan, East Timor, Congo, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Sri Lanka Sierra Leone, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other war or disaster stricken areas will always be remembered by considerate people who try their best for anyone in trouble. In the hope of the day when all faces bear a smile.

The global food banking network that is a major non-profit organisation of the world working for the world food security has a point of view to the global concern where it says, in its ‘Global Hunger & Food Waste’ titled report, ‘Hunger is often not a food problem; it’s a logistics problem. Approximately 15-30 per cent of food in emerging economies is wasted. Each year billions of pounds of food go to waste, while one in four people are malnourished. 

Food banking systems capture surplus food and deliver it to the people who need it most, engaging all sectors of society (governments, business, and civil) in the process. Food banks acquire donated food, much of which would otherwise be wasted, from farms, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores, consumers, and other sources, making it available to those in need through an established network of community agencies. These agencies include school feeding programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, AIDS and TB hospices, substance abuse clinics, after-school programs, and other non-profit programs that provide food to the hungry’.

(With Inputs From Global Food Banking Network)