• Pauline Yeukayi Murima (South Africa)

Zero Hunger: Where we come from, where we are and the way forward

The world today is fast being identified with poverty, mal-nutrition, vulnerability, lack of safety, immigrants, wars, drought, harsh weather elements as well as hunger, by and large, these conditions are affecting both the elderly and the young in turn creating a healthy populous world population in need of sufficient, nutritious, and genetically safe food for consumption. According to an online publication by Hussein (2020), the prevalence of undernourishment had not changed for the past five years and had maintained an unsatisfactory 11%. This reverse in progress is a visualization of the need to cure undernourishment at global levels.

Demographic projects by the United Nations (2022), predict that by the year 2050 the population would have increased by a further 2 billion people, mostly in developing countries. Previous research studies by (Phillips) reveal that in most developing countries there are more reports of the undernourished, the infant mortality rate is high, adolescence is many, lactating mothers are exposed to malnutrition due to lack of food and there is poor to no health awareness such that most of the elderly populations are ailing. Such research work and demographic projects reveal a challenge to claims of the 2030 achievement of the hunger initiative. Though it is so, measures towards at least curbing this societal malnourishment in developing countries ought to be implemented and practiced for the success of the goals.

To achieve the #zero hunger initiative, the world at large is encouraged to support and take special notice of the health need of adolescent girls, pregnant women, lactating women, older persons, and those who have been incapacitated due to nature or by birth and Child health. However, a report by the United Nations depicts that by 2030 the world will (through sustainable agriculture) be able to end hunger, achieve great health for all and in turn end poverty. As such the world is invited to employ sustainable strategies and policies that aid in promoting impartial access to technology and land, prioritizing small-scale farmers' income and their productivity as they endeavor to employ food production systems through agricultural food production systems that are practical, sustainable, and resilient (Organization for Economic Co-operation 2000). Besides the health aspect is a major contributor to hunger currently, the zero-hunger sustainable goal entails the need for the world to reduce the prevalence of undernourishment. Undernourishment is the failure to meet a recommended dietary caloric intake sufficient for a healthy life.

The dietary recommendation varies from person to person and is calculated based on age, gender, activity levels, origin, and weight (World Health Organization 2010). As such, depletion of natural water sources due to climate change, the ocean and its marine world, soil quality, and deforestation remain some high contributors to hunger in the world currently. Factors such as politics, social forces, and other natural elements have also played a large role in imposing hunger on humankind. In a bid to give life to these sustainable goals, the United Nations sort to further dissect these goals into 8 targets ad 13 indicators. The targets highly identify with the specification of the goals and the indicators depict the different metrics the world is encouraged to follow and track for these targets to be achieved. The 8 targets according to the (United Nations)are as follows:

  • Universal access to safe and nutritious food

  • Extinction of all forms of malnutrition

  • Double the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers

  • Sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices

  • Maintain genetic diversity in food production

  • Invest in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology, and gene banks.

  • Prevent agricultural trade restrictions, market distortions, and export subsidies.

In conclusion, it is every living individual’s responsibility to envisage the 2030 goals and start acting responsibly in a bid to bring these goals to life. From where the world stands today, there have been pandemics, recessions, wars climatic changes that have significantly stalled the progress of tie frame mining towards 2030. As such the world is encouraged to at least limit food wastage, adopt healthy living lifestyles, keep soils clean of chemicals that can potentially harm them, support local producers, encourage organic consumption, and become self-appointed advocates for the development goals. By and large, a profound change in the global food and agricultural system is needed if we are to nourish the hungry population today and the billion more to come tomorrow.