No hunger by 2030. This is the UN’s second goals of their 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ending hunger will be a challenge, as around 11% of the world’s population are ‘malnourished’. They do not have access to the amount or quality of food they need to live a healthy life. This is about 815 million people throughout the world, with over 250 million of those living in Africa.
Yet this challenge can be overcome. Many researchers are working on ways to produce more food and reduce food waste. This means there would be more nutritious food available to more people.
PRODUCE MORE FOOD
One way to produce more quality food is to make the best scientific information available to farmers. This is being done through free online mobile services such as Nokia Life and Reuters Market Light. Farmers get SMS messages with necessary and specialised information such as:
- Which crops are the best to plant in their region and in that season
- Which type of fertiliser will make these plants grow healthier and quicker
- Predicted levels of rainfall and other weather forecasts
- Farmers are then able to more effectively plant, fertilise, harvest, and sell their products.
Effects are being seen around Africa. In Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, vegetable farmers are being sent weather updates by SMS to help them manage their crops. This allows farmers to improve their growing techniques and grow more food.
REDUCE FOOD WASTE
The FAO has reported that around 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That is one third of all food produced.
To help reduce this, developers have created an app called Chowberry, primarily based in Nigeria.
- Store owners use the Chowberry app to scan the barcodes of food products.
- This then tells them when the food has reached the best before date
- The app offers this food for sale at reduced prices after that date.
Using initiatives like Chowberry will mean that more people have access to cheap and nutritious food. This is especially beneficial to those cannot afford fresh fruits or vegetables,
CHOOSE THE BEST FOOD FOR OUR BODIES
Hunger can affect even those that have enough food. It is also about making sure we are choosing the most nutritious food. There is a rise in ‘hidden hunger’, especially amongst young people. More people are choosing cheap, processed and refined foods. These do not have all the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function properly.
A lack of these nutrients can lead to underdevelopment, especially in the brain and bones. Such consequences can impact on education and work standards with lasting effects. Therefore we need to make sure we eat foods that are good for our bodies, like fruits, vegetables and eggs, and encourage our friends to do the same.