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11 People Die Due to Hunger Every Minute: Oxfam Report 2021

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Food: A Treasured Commodity

The current population of the world in 2021 according to a UN estimate is 7.9 billion, which is four times higher than the population that we had in 1900 ( less than 2 billion ). This number may increase to 9.7 billion by 2050, and as we all know more people need more food.

This was the key reason why the United Nations actually announced eradicating world hunger as a Sustainable development goal in Rio de Janeiro in 2012

According to a report published by Oxfam in July of 2021  titled "The Hunger Virus Multiplies," the death toll caused by hunger/ famine outpaces that of COVID-19 by killing 11 people per minute across the world. Although hunger might not seem a real threat to people living in developed countries it is however an angel of death to the people living in developing countries that are way below the poverty line. 

Need to increase Crop Productivity: 

This itself shows why we need to increase Food Productivity across the world. By 2050, food demand is anticipated to rise anywhere from 59 per cent to 98 per cent. According to the 2021 Global Agricultural Productivity Report (GAP Report), which was released on October 20, 2021, total factor productivity (TFP) is improving at a 1.36 per cent yearly rate (2020-2019). This is lower than the Global Agricultural Productivity Index, which has set a target of 1.73 per cent annual growth to meet consumer needs for food and bio-energy in 2050. 

Agricultural ministries throughout the world will have to help their farmers to enhance crop production, either by adding more agricultural space to grow crops or by improving productivity on current agricultural lands with fertiliser and irrigation, as well as embracing innovative techniques like precision farming. 

However, balancing climate change and the need for food is a very tough job the reason being intensive agriculture and deforestation reduce the quality of land resources thus lowering the nutrients in the soil that makes the land unfit for further cultivation. It is also the chief reason for soil erosion, salinization, desertification, and other types of soil degradations. 

Apart from this, efficient farming techniques might often not be climate-friendly for example the stubble burning in India when farmers have to quickly clear their land for the upcoming Rabi cropping season. And these things contribute massively to Global climate change. 

Which according to the paper, (climate change) has already slowed global productivity growth by 21% since 1961, equating to a loss of seven years of productivity increases. Productivity growth has been slowed by up to 34% in drier parts of Africa and Latin America

As jimmy carter said, “We know that a peaceful world cannot long exist, one-third rich and two-thirds hungry.” if we need to coexist in peace we surely need to find a permanent solution to world hunger.

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