We Empower Efficiency !
The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.
Feeding the growing population in the coming years will require
ingenuity and innovation to produce more food on less land
in more sustainable ways. Food Security is the most sustainable
of all options.
The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Africa alone will double in size from 1 to 2 billion.
Yet today, the FAO and other global organizations already have reported over half to the food produced in the world is lost in post-harvest losses. For this reason, we are not adequately feeding the current population of 7.5 billion. The first knee jerk reaction is to increase food production. It is well known this is easier said than done. We now must go beyond increasing food production. Now global food security, the ability to protect the world’s food supply, is critical and more doable than increasing production. Decreasing post-harvest losses from 50 % to 5 % almost doubles the effective food production without cultivating more land. This will not require more water. This will not require more fertilizer. And the natural agricultural risks will be minimized and many will no longer be applicable.
The challenge is that we must feed all the people – those who are here now and those who will be here in the future. Achieving these objectives requires that we address many issues, from gender parity and ageing demographics to skills development, global warming and food security. More importantly, feeding the growing population in the coming years will require ingenuity and innovation to produce more food on less land in more sustainable ways. Food Security is the most sustainable of all options.
Livestock plays an important role in food supply and food security. Milk, meat and milk products (cheese, yogurt, etc.) provide essential proteins, and vitamins necessary for human well-being. Livestock genetic improvement by utilizing ‘time-tested’ technologies have shown increase milk produced by smaller number of cows, which reduces environmental burden of land resources.
The agriculture sector is a mainstay of national economies across the developing world. Over 78 percent of the world’s poor depend on subsistence farming and are most vulnerable. As weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, farmers will need to depend more heavily on timely weather forecasts and relate climate information services to make production decisions to improve agricultural productivity. Global food production must increase significantly to feed growing population. Agriculture is a major provider of food, nutrition, jobs, and a key sector for stewardship of environmental improvements. And Agriculture sectors have to become more productive by adopting efficient business models and forging public-private partnerships. They need to become sustainable by addressing greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste.
The business models must take into account that substantial proportion of the food produced in the world is never consumed. It decays or is attacked or infested by pests, rodents, fungi, or microbes. As such, postharvest losses have come to the forefront in the decisions on food security. Within this context, reducing losses will be more cost effective and environmentally sustainable than a corresponding increase in production. Therefore, improving postharvest handling affords the opportunity to achieve a “triple win”: increasing food security and supporting livelihoods of the rural poor; increasing the quality and quantity of grains to feed rapidly growing, urban consumers’ populations; and saving valuable and scarce water and land resources. Given the magnitude of post-harvest losses, implementing food security and reducing losses needs to be considered an integral part of food security alongside with raising productivity.
Although the smallholder farmers are the backbone of the sector, they are the ones who most face constraints that include poor infrastructures, lack of access to finances and markets, lack of food security, and few opportunities to improve their skills base. Indeed smallholder agriculture today is unprofitable, requiring organization to improve understanding that it is a business that they are engaged in. Women make up most of the labor force in smallholder agriculture, as such making it crucial to advocate for policy changes in countries whereby women and girls will receive opportunities equal to those of boys and men. In rural populations, where women make up the majority, land is captured by men. Women cultivate the land without rights to the land, access to markets, or access to financial services. A sustainable agricultural system must therefore be developed to ensure an affordable food supply for all. Everyone involved in the production process must benefit from it, including smallholder farmers, and especially farmers who are women, and young people. Their role in achieving food security is the key to achieving this benefit for all.