How Do We Feed Our Growing Population?
As the world’s population continues to grow, achieving global food security—producing enough nutritious food that everyone can access, and doing so sustainably—is one of the greatest challenges we face today. By 2050, it is projected that there will be 9.2 billion people on the planet, and recent estimates suggest that food production will have to increase by 70% if we are to feed everyone. So the question remains: How do we feed our growing population?
By 2050, it is projected that there will be 9.2 billion people on the planet, and recent estimates suggest that food production will have to increase by 70% if we are to feed everyone.
Our progress in achieving food security To begin to respond to this daunting question, three Action Against Hunger experts recently attended the First International Conference on Global Food Security. The conference brought together 600 participants from more than 65 countries and a broad range of scientific fields to share their varied experiences with food production and access. Our experts shared the results of recent field-based research in Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Pakistan.
- Julien Morel, Food Security and Policy Advisor for ACF-France, shared information on improving nutrition for people living with HIV in Zimbabwe. Julien also presented a how-to guide on designing and implementing projects that are “nutrition-sensitive” in high-need areas.
- Shahid Fazal, Food Security Coordinator for ACF-Pakistan, presented methods to improve nutrition and food security in areas of Pakistan affected by the devastating floods in 2010.
- Muriel Calo, Senior Food Security and Livelihoods Advisor for ACF-USA, shared the results of an initiative in D.R. Congo to prevent a debilitating disease called konzo caused by improperly cleaned cassava root. Muriel also shared a study on the livelihoods of slum dwellers in the city of Kampala, Uganda.
Finding a solution to a global problem A comprehensive plan for the immense challenge of global food security will take time—the solution is interconnected and multi-faceted. As such, over the four-day conference, participants delivered state-of-the-art analysis and innovative research methods that resulted from collaborating across many fields, including:
- Sustainable food production systems: How to ensure processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population (including growing, harvesting, processing, marketing, disposing of food, etc.) are sustainable over time and resilient after disasters or crises.
- Novel ways of feeding nine billion: Thinking of innovative methods to feed a growing world population.
- Agricultural production for renewable resources: Recycling waste produced from farming and raising livestock for renewable resources, such as fertilizer or compost.
- Nutritional security: Improving access and availability to nutritionally balanced diets and nutrition-related health services for all people.
- Learning from the past to understand the future: Sharing stories of challenging experiences and best practices to help one another improve their methods as they move forward.
At Action Against Hunger, our goal is to eliminate world hunger. A critical part of reaching our goal is tackling the root causes of hunger: problems of production, access, and availability. We work to address these problems through our food security programs worldwide, and this conference was an important opportunity for us to share our progress so far, as well as our visions for the future. We are a recognized leader in food security, and with your support, we can create a world where everyone has equal access to nutritious food.