Food Security: Сlimate-Smart Food System
Food insecurity is a timely issue worldwide due to the population growth and climate change. The developing African and Asian countries are those that are the most vulnerable to this risk. However, the importance of the natural balance and the necessity to support these countries make the issues concern practically all the states. Hence, WTO, the World Bank, and many international programs offer financial and scientific projects aimed to solve the problem. Out of the most effective solutions that help to avoid the world hunger, this paper focuses on the implementation of climate-smart food system, Evergreen Agriculture, and other approaches aimed to teach people to utilize natural resources wisely. Hence, the focus is on the food security as a crucial goal that contributes to the welfare of humanity and environmental balance on the planet.
The concerns related to food security existed throughout history. In particular, the food supply, quality, individual welfare, and other aspects are closely associated with this term and become the goals for the international governments. Various healthcare organizations widely discuss the existing measures of nutritional security, and the last is commonly dependent on the environmental factors including clean water, agricultural benefits like crop productivity, weather conditions, and, consequently, climate change, which is the timely global issue nowadays. Hence, it is necessary to focus on the food insecurity as the timely problem, which humanity and particularly some African and Asian countries face. In addition to that, the predictions for the highly developed countries show that the word without hunger still remains a risk for all countries due to the climate instability and losses of the natural resources. Hence, this paper will refer to the food security as a crucial goal that contributes to the higher welfare of humans on the individual and national level but is also crucial for the environmental balance on the planet.
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The lack of food or its low quality that does not correspond to the international standards and basic dietary energy demands primarily predetermines food security. The most commonly, these problems are common for the low-income countries with the low agricultural development and inappropriate for agriculture natural conditions. Some African and Asian countries are marked as the places of the greatest concern on the map (Wheeler&Von Braun). The absence of their own sufficient crops and drinking water leads to the necessity to search for the resources from outside. However, the prices for food that have increased make the situation even more complicated (Wheeler&Von Braun). Serious food crisis, which the combination of several factors including the overall decrease of the reduction of agricultural productivity and the failures of the related agricultural policies caused. For instance, export restrictions, non-transparent actions on the food market and its poor regulation are the major underlying reasons that have predetermined the food crisis (Wheeler&Von Braun). Even though the problem is struggled nowadays, it is not the only reason of concern regarding the food security.
The growth of the population on the Earth leads to the increased food consumption. According to Godfray et al, the current ratio of the demands growth will lead to a serious problem with land, water, and energy distribution in 40 years. Hence, the challenges that exist on the current level will increase and make the concerns regarding the resources overexploitation and the state of the environment serious. In such a way, the risk of the food system corruption grows considerably and is strongly associated with the climate changes. Therefore, it is important to optimize the actions of humans in a way that would ensure environmental and social justice.
Many scholars claim that the climate change is the crucial factor that can lead to the negative impacts on the crop productivity worldwide (Wheeler&Von Braun). Hence, the stability of the food availability is under a considerable risk. Moreover, hunger becomes a real threat for many countries. The areas that are already vulnerable to hunger and undernutrition are likely to be in the most risky group (Wheeler&Von Braun). Moreover, the scholars predict serious inequality between various areas including the rural versus urban ones (Wheeler&Von Braun). What is important, the loss of the secure food and drinking water is a serious danger to human health. The poor nutrition is a severe negative life-long impact on the well-being of people on all levels including the social, physical, and mental one. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the food security as a solid basis of human health and overall welfare of the nations.
Munang et al. emphasized the crucial role of food insecurity in the social instability of the country. With regard to the fact that 10 million people die from hunger yearly, the problem demands crucial attention from the countries worldwide (Munang et al.). Malnutrition is the common reason for numerous illnesses since the early stages of life. Hence, it contributed to the learning capacity lowering, productivity decrease, and mortality growing. It is also important that the maternal illnesses always contribute to the poor health of the children. The statistics report that under-nutrition causes more than 30% of children deaths worldwide (The World Bank). According to the World Bank, the current statistics related to food security are not very reassuring since it is necessary to increase the food production at least on 50% in order to satisfy the needs of the population of 9 billion by 2050. However, the environmental conditions are not always favorable for the agricultural production. Moreover, the climate change can destroy more than one fourth of the crops (The World Bank). In particular, its negative influence on the natural capital including the land, water, forests or animals created a great risk for the humanity. Hence, the changes in the ways of food growing and capital management are necessary to contribute to the food security perspectives improving.
According to Wheeler&Von Braun, the current situation with climate changes and food security still demands considerable financial support to mitigate the effective actions on the way to “climate-smart food system” creation. Such approach means that the food security development needs not only the increased financial support to grow more products but also wise and equal distribution of these products to ensure the equality among countries as well equal utilization of the natural resources. Hence, the strategies should focus on making the crops increase and be appropriate to feed humanity. Hence, “a linked global strategy” is essential to provide the “equitable food security” (Godfray et al.). Controlling the greenhouse gas emission, monitoring of the sufficient number of drinking water, preserving of the existing biodiversity on the Earth are mentioned among the Millennium Development Goals oriented for hunger avoidance and productivity growth (Godfray et al.).
For the developing countries, the major directions on the way to food security improvement include the implementation of the peculiar agriculture-related strategies that would improve the technical support, skills, and knowledge of the workers in the area (The World Bank). Garity et al. referred to the example of the African farmers from Zambia, Niger, and Burkina Faso to show how the farming systems can restore the exhausted soils and make the crops increase. The Evergreen Agriculture is a unique approach that ensures the development of food security by integrating particular trees into the food crop systems (Garity et al.). The major value of such an approach is the ability to support the green cover on the land all the year round and generate high amount of the organic matter in the soil. In the same way, the ground structure is improving ensuring the higher production of food. With regard to this, Zambian and Nigerian experiences were based on the Faidherbia albida utilization, Malawian case integrating the usage of fertilizers, fodder, fruit, fuel wood, and timber trees (Garity et al.). In addition, the Evergreen Agriculture can be based on the pit technology (Garrity et al.). Munang et al. analyzed a similar approach. His emphasis on the strong interconnection between the eco and food system led to the idea that the life support of the ecosystem is the efficient mean to ensure the regular support of the biodiversity, environment, and welfare of the humanity.
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Actions were already taken, for example, the investment in agriculture, which the World Bank Group made. The contribution of the group to the food system is effective in ensuring proper human feeding and relies on climate-smart farming techniques, restoration of the natural resources and, particularly, land, raising crops resilience to the outer influences, and improving storage conditions (The World Bank). Overall, the investments in the agricultural sector in 2015 have reached $8 billion (The World Bank). Among such, the support of the African and Asian countries was the strongest.
Hence, it is necessary to consider positive results brought to Niger, Nicaragua, and Bangladesh. The Crisis Response Program has contributed to the improvement of the indicators for the Nigerian rice yields and crops increase by 116% (The World Bank). In Nicaragua, the situation with lunches for school children was improved (The World Bank,). In Bangladesh, the nutrition situation became better due to newly trained field assistants and facilitators (The World Bank). In Rwanda, the crops improvements were ensured due to the implementation of potatoes and fortified climbing beans (The World Bank). In addition to that, the World Bank Group has put considerable efforts to decrease food prices in 40 countries after the food crisis (The World Bank). GFRP has become a valuable program for nearly 70 million people due to $1.6 billion emergency finances the countries have received for farming, production, trainings, and other programs (The World Bank). However, more actions on the way to food security increase are still necessary.
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Agencies and Partners
The essential representatives that struggle with the problem are present worldwide. The major organizations that deal with the food security concerns are HAC and WTO (WHO). In addition, UNHCR, WFP, and UNICEF are important agencies ensuring the food security development (WHO). World Food Programme can be defined as the most well-known one providing sustainable food support to the developing countries worldwide.
The World Bank has provided sufficient financial support and launched a number of programs including the Food Price Crisis Observatory focused on the vulnerable points of the food prices in different countries as well as accompanying of sociopolitical events (The World Bank). One cannot neglect such platform as AMIS, which encourages the proper control and transparency on the market ensuring the awareness of the situation and ability to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various policies. In addition to that, there is CGIAR, which is responsible for the scientific support of the food security trends, human health conditions, and resources distribution (The World Bank). The developing countries have a separate program offering the financial support for the decent nutrition. Among such, GAFSP is the biggest one. PROFISH controls the aquatic issues (The World Bank). The support of the aquaculture in the developing countries can be defined its major task.
To summarize, the changes in climate, the growth of population, and the crisis in the food market can be considered the main underlying reasons that lead the countries to the higher and end even catastrophic level of food insecurity. With regard to the fact that malnutrition is a serious factor that contributes to the low health level of the population and directly influences the social instability, it is necessary to understand the importance of searching for various solutions and the best ways to feed the population. Among such, the international organizations like WTO, the World Bank, and others have put emphasis on the strong interconnection between the natural ecosystem and consequent agricultural productivity. Therefore, the evidences show that financial support needs to be provided to ensure the innovations and trainings related to agriculture. Hence, climate-smart food system, Evergreen Agriculture and others, can become the best way to utilize natural resources wisely. Hence, the focus on the natural balance is the best tool of ensuring the food security.