Major food companies such as Unilever, Nestle and PepsiCo, along with the United Nations Foundation, farmers’ associations, scientists and several NGOs, have sent letters to the G 7 and G 20 with warnings that global food supplies would be decreased because of the coronavirus pandemic. So, if the governments of different countries do not take appropriate measures, the number of starving people in the world could double – up to 1.6 billion people. Promote Ukraine asked the experts how humanity can cope with this problem, and what states and governments should do.
Tetyana Mozgova, Communications Manager, Bayer LLC
The pandemic has significantly affected all the usual processes. Today, the world is forced to restructure all the schemes focusing on safety, productivity and innovation. According to the UN, almost a fifth of the world’s population had irregular access to healthy and quality food before COVID-19. By 2050, 10 billion people will live on our planet. To feed them, we must consistently produce 50% more food in the same square. Climate change only intensifies the problem. Last year alone, farmers had to face another dry summer in Europe, unprecedented rain in the United States and locust infestation in East Africa.
We learn from these extreme situations. We already strengthen and develop our agricultural system to withstand crises that may be unknown today. In the future, we must focus on making our food system even more reliable, consistent and safer.
Research and innovation are the solutions that will help feed the world’s growing population. Just as people rely on science to prevent and treat disease, farmers rely on science and innovation to grow and protect their plants – and to preserve soil and natural resources as the basis of life.
Manufacturers who use digital technologies have more successful sales of their products, better harvest and almost do not face disruptions in the supply of the product. We are talking not only about Ukraine, but mean a global approach. That was well noticeable during the peak pandemic.
But global challenges to the environment, health and nutrition are a complex challenge that no country, industry or institution will be able to meet alone. So, we bet on a partnership to better ensure access to food for the world’s population. Also, transparency and open dialogue are needed, in particular, with scientists, farmers, politicians, and consumers, to bring core needs into a single focus.
Only together, we will manage to use scientific advances and innovations to create a robust and sustainable food system, which can feed the world during a crisis and provide future generations with enough food.
Valery Kulich, owner of the agrarian group of companies STOV “Inter”
If we calculate mathematically, the population on the planet continues to grow, mainly in Asian countries – India, Pakistan, China and others. And, for example, China is on the verge of a food crisis today.
Of course, population growth leads to a shortage of products. But there is technological progress. In particular, we had a yield of 30 quintals per hectare 15 years ago, but today it reaches 70 quintals. All this is due to the development.
I am convinced that the technological process will go on. And humanity will find a formula to save itself from the food crisis. Moreover, the same countries in the Arab world are very active in developing their deserts by desalinating water and so on. They are warm and sunny during the year, and this makes several crops possible. Therefore, these countries may soon become the key players in the agricultural market.
- Researchers have wondered how to feed all the people if the world’s population reaches 9.7 billion in 2050, as demographers predict. According to scientists, the solution may be the use of duckweed in our diet. The study of its beneficial properties was conducted by scientists from the Faculty of Plant Biology at the University of New Jersey named after G. Rutgers. “It is the fastest-growing plant in the world, which also contains more protein than soy, and is a traditional food source for people living in some parts of Southeast Asia. In general, it is quite mild in taste. For example, you can mix it with cheese on a cracker or season ramen noodles with it to enrich the food with protein. We ate it in the laboratory with hamburgers and sandwiches, ” the scientists said.
- UN experts have developed a program to tackle hunger in the poorest regions. One began to nourish hunger-bit people with grasshoppers, beetles, ants and other edible insects. According to FAO officials – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – insects are very nutritious because they contain a lot of protein, fat and minerals. They are also numerous and reproduce easily, so it will not affect the ecosystem. By the way, arthropods are eaten regularly by almost 2 billion people in many regions of Africa, Asia and South America.