Nepal | July 10, 2020

Hunger: The brutal reality

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Ram Chandra Neupane
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Globally, smallholder farmers produce more than 70 per cent of the world’s food. But the sad part of the story is majority of them are shackled by the chains of hunger and poverty. The world produces more than enough food for all of us, but it’s a heart- breaking reality that 200 million children go to bed hungry every night.

I strongly believe that the existing food production and distribution system are brutally unjust and unfair. Children from developed economies are sick of having too much to eat while children in mostly agricultural countries die of starvation.

The scenario in Nepal and most of the poor countries in the world is that hunger is more prevalent among the farming communities who devote their whole life to farming.

We are in the dire need of a sustainable solution to food insecurity and hunger. The inexorable rise in demand for food, extreme weather events, shrinking arable land and reckless use of natural resources should serve as a warning for policymakers, consumers and food producers including the smallholder farmers to do something more in order to address food security and hunger.

Questions must be asked and addressed: Are the existing policies effective? Do governments have the right priorities? Are the technologies that will help smallholder farmers earn better accessible and affordable?

Are the key players in the agriculture ecosystem ready to work together to ensure that the mechanism is in place and working well to support the entire food value chain? And the perennial question, are the agriculture players working together to ensure that the actions and behaviour support the principles of sustainable development and uphold the integrity of the environment?

The fate of millions of smallholder farmers is determined by the perception of policymakers whether they perceive them as a problem or solution for achieving agricultural revolution.

The triumph of our battle against food insecurity and hunger is largely dependent on how much attention is given by global leaders on the issues around food insecurity on equal terms with the other challenges like nuclear threat and terrorism.

As an aspiring agricultural scientist, I strongly urge for another green revolution through a holistic approach by connecting dimensions of environment, economy and society.

 


A version of this article appears in print on May 01, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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