VIENNA – Of the world’s almost seven billion people, about one billion are starving, owing to a long list of unfortunate local events and circumstances, together with steadily increasing demand, unpredictable weather patterns, and poor financial management. And food shortages could grow much worse, as world population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050 or earlier.
But, with the right programs, we can produce enough food for everyone. Indeed, by taking the right actions now, we can eradicate starvation.
To meet expected demand over the next 20 years, global food supplies must increase by an estimated 50%. So we need sustainable agriculture-led growth to increase supplies and keep prices affordable while also boosting the incomes of poor farmers in developing countries.
This can be achieved through a program for subsistence farmers that not only improves productivity, but also reduces weather dependency and provides simple financing instruments to encourage investment in new technologies and equipment, increased land ownership, and easier access to local markets. Lifting subsistence farmers out of their precarious position would be equivalent to halving the number of hungry people.