Global Hunger Needs Urgent Attention
A study commissioned by the UK government called for urgent attention into food security to avert global hunger. The Foresight Report on Food and Farming Futures said the current system had to be redesigned to address to end global hunger immediately. The study involved 400 experts from 35 countries, BBC reported. The study provides compelling evidence for the governments to act now.
The report stressed changes to farming were required in order to see that the increasing yields might not disturb sustainability of the agriculture sector. It recommended curbing of the resource-intensive food types and minimizing waste in food production. In next 20 years, the world population will reach 8.3 billion and 65-70 percent of the population will be living in urban areas. Increasing prosperity and population will increase food consumption, the report said.
The report says 925 million people suffer hunger and perhaps a further billion lack micronutrients. The task is difficult because the food system is working for the majority of people but those at risk of hunger have least influence on decision-making." Professor Beddington, who commissioned the study said he viewed the billion people who overeat and are therefore obese are another symptom of the failure of the food production system to deliver good health.
We need to be persuading policy makers not to think about food in isolation, not to think about climate change in isolation, not to think about water in isolation, not to think about energy in isolation. All of them are intimately related," the professor was quoted as saying. The report says that the use of any particular technology, such as genetic modification, cloning and nanotechnology should not be ruled out.
The report calls for protection of the poorest from increasing prices through government intervention and greater liberalization of the trade in food in order to offset market volatility. They also note that China has invested heavily in agricultural and consequently one of the few countries to have met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving hunger. The report also calls for new measures to hold governments and food producers to account.