“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Everyone needs food…to grow, to work and to be productive. We need a wide variety of different foods to provide the right amounts of nutrients for good health. So why isn’t everyone doing everything to make sure that all 7,000,000,000+ people on the planet have access to food and proper nutrition? It makes absolutely no sense. Anyway, this goal is full of words that we absolutely love:
Food security is a condition related to the supply of food, and individuals’ access to it.
Improved nutrition refers to eating a balanced diet which is vital for good health and well being.
Sustainable agriculture is basically the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. This form of agriculture enables us to produce healthful food without compromising future generations’ ability to do the same.
So what are the facts?
- One in nine people in the world today (795 million) are undernourished. In sub-Saharan Africa, projections for the 2014-2016 period indicate a rate of undernourishment of almost 23%.
- Poor nutrition causes nearly half of deaths in children under 5 – 3.1 million children each year.
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
- Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households.
- If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
How is Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, meant to develop and catch up with the rest of the world when 23 out of every 100 people are not well nourished?
How is Africa meant to nurture and grow its young talent and produce the next astrophysicist, marine biologists and film producers when 23 million of its children go to school hungry?
How do we fail to invest in agriculture when it is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households?
It makes no sense at all.
The Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali and Niger have already plugged into a new and innovative financing mechanism to scale the war against food insecurity. They plan to use micro levies from extractive industries such as mining to increase resources for the fight again malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.
We can all do something to improve the situation. As the youth, we need to come up with new and disruptive innovations in the agricultural space. Agriculture is not a rural thing, it’s a basic survival thing. Create apps which monitor weather patterns. Do research on new farming techniques. Even just go to the farms and farm.
As AHI, we have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that the children in the schools we work with get a regular and healthy diet. Some of the income from the businesses we set up is channeled into the food program, where the kids get 10 o’clock porridge and a balanced lunch meal. In this way, we are able to ensure that the kids are not struggling with their hunger pangs but focusing all their energies into being the best they can be.
What are you doing?
“People develop themselves. Development doesn’t come to you. If you don’t take responsibility for yourself and expect someone else to develop you then zero hunger will remain a dream.”
Mr. Kanayo Nwanze.