6 months ago
On a date
26 Jan 17’
ERADICATE HUNGER THROUGH INTENSIVE FARMING?
To hit the Sustainable Development Goal to eradicate hunger by 2030, Sir Gordon Conway of Imperial College London estimates that we must double food production in developing countries by 2050, and by 70%, globally. That is an ambitious goal for global food production, particularly when you consider one report from The University of Sheffield’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures which estimates that the world has lost 33% of its arable land in the last 40 years.
Intensification of farming – on a global scale – is one obvious solution to the problem in a world where crop is traded widely (Britain exported 14% of all the food it grew in 2010). With intensification, however, comes specialisation. In a 2012 report, The Land examined Great Britain’s ability to feed itself. Amongst its conclusions was the observation that by intensifying its farming practices Great Britain may well have compromised its ability to be self-sufficient. The implication being that, in a world where a country specialises in a handful of crops, it becomes reliant on imported food to feed its population. Logically one could argue that concentration also puts that country at risk of a catastrophic economic failure should the crop fail. In 2009 in Kenya, one estimate is that the wheat harvest was 46% below average due to drought. Whilst a significant shortfall in food production might not be catastrophic for the global food economy, given the diversification of food-producing areas, for a single country (and its farmers) that is a significant shortfall.
The Sustainable Development Goals provide a nudge towards what might be done to help and suggest that:
By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
Crop insurance is just one such thing which can help the poor become more resilient to climate-related extreme events.
Posted 6 months ago by admin