Frank Aghedo (Canada)
Zero hunger: an instrumental tool in conquering hunger and malnutrition in Africa by 2030
The world is facing one of its hardest moments, polarization is on the rise more than ever and global development is not different. Hunger has been a situation the world has been battling with from time past and resolving it usually requires a collective effort from everyone. For the sake of understanding, it will be a good starting point to define the key concept of this article. What is hunger? According to Merriam Webster dictionary, hunger can be defined as (a): a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient, (b) an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food, (c) a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food (Webster, 2022). Judging by these definitions, hunger has never been a comfortable experience for all living species (humans, animals, plants, and others). What might be the causes of hunger? A story by Concern worldwide U.S itemized these causes in the following: poverty, food shortages, war and conflict, climate change, poor nutrition, poor public policy, poor economy, food waste, gender inequality, and forced migration (the U.S, 2022). These ten causes of hunger have their complex effects on the world, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number two (Goal 02, zero hunger) data says that the current estimates are running into 690 million people out of the world’s population, is either in need of urgent food or suffering from specific nutrient, and in some cases both (Nations, 2022).
The data continues to indicate that, the majority of undernourished people (381 million) are found in Asia, while in the case of Africa the numbers are around 250 million, but unfortunately continues to grow faster than any other continent of the world (Nations, 2022). Apart from these effects and more, there is a serious fear that the number of people all over the world that will become affected by this plague (hunger) by 2030 will surpass 840 million, thus, the need for action is imminent, and the United Nations is on the leading roll in this fight, as well in the other 16 SDGs. What is the zero hunger SDG? According to National Geographic, zero hunger SDG is a pivot in finding sustainable solutions in stopping hunger from ravaging the world (Geographic, 2022). The goal initiative of this strategy is to end hunger and make sure that a nutritious food supply is available to the world for people’s consumption by 2030 (Geographic, 2022). Other aspects of the goal include seeing the end of malnutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture (Geographic, 2022). This sustainable development goal became a reality at the 2012 United Nation conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Geographic, 2022). Haven Knowing all these facts and sustainable solution initiatives, the question that should cast its dominance in the mind of Africans should be, what will it take for Africa to end hunger by 2030? It is a well-known fact that Africans are predominantly farmers, the lands in Africa are big and fetal enough, the human resources (especially with youths) are available, technological advancement is on the rise and with the different financing schemes which are also on the rise, it would have been expected that Africa can assist with food production both for itself and the world.
However, just as it was mentioned earlier concerning the causes of hunger, it is important to add here that this is where most of the complex effects (war and conflict, climate change, poor public policy, poor economy, gender inequality, forced migration) usually rear its ugly head to truncate the agricultural potentials of the Africa nation irrespective of the availability of resources. In other to avert these complex effects and key into this sustainable development goal number 02 (zero hunger) initiative, Africa needs to first, employ the combination of the following: discipline, diligence, character, and commitment. Secondly, implement agricultural strategies in application and practice as accorded in the policies, and understand that the UN SDG for zero hunger is not to sideline other agricultural plans in view or already running by respective nations in Africa, rather it is to enhance the success in the fight against hunger and malnutrition in the world by 2030. In recommendations to African leadership, Agriculture should be padded to look more attractive to entice and nudge African youths to want to venture into the business. In addition, they should be schemes that usher them from their last year in the university and during national compulsory service to their respective nations.
Furthermore, this scheme should serve as an orientation for these youths to see the benefits and opportunities in agricultural business, (from seeding or rearing to the harvesting of produce, then moving to commercial sales up to the packaging of finished goods for consumption). At this point it is important to be reminded that for all of this to become possible, it will require the input of various professional fields: agriculture, research and development, economics, business, marketing, and transportation, just to name a few in the world of work. It is also worth adding that going by this processing, one can observe that all the SDGs are interwoven, here it is seen that goal number 02 (zero hunger) is in cooperation with goal number 08 (decent work and economic growth), likewise other goals of the SDGs. In conclusion, a more public-private partnership needs to be encouraged in supporting the sustainable development goal number 02 (zero hunger) through more establishment of agricultural research development centers, business incubation, access to soft loans, access to conflict-free farmlands, management of farmer-herder conflicts, plus the recognition of the farmer as a contributor to the fight against world hunger. Actualizing these strategies and more will not only save lives in Africa but also aid the flourishing of goal number 02 (zero hunger initiative) in the world by 2030.