Our world has changed. Nothing has been the same since the latter part of 2019 when Covid-19 struck and one devastating event followed another, affecting everything and everyone around us.
The World Food Program (WFP) estimates, about 152 million people around the world would face food shortages and as many as 828 million people, that is 10% of our World population, go to bed hungry every night in 2022. These are outrageously staggering numbers.
This year 2022, the Russia-Ukraine war has inflicted economic pain across borders. Supply chain interruptions gave way to exponentially rising cost of production, causing massive hikes in prices of general goods and services globally. Many factors have collectively and adversely affected production and prices of food in major parts of the world. There are 3 major reasons why food insecurity is growing and requires immediate attention and grounded solutions:
1. Extreme weather and drought
Generally, we expect 2 major weather patterns in Ghana and farmers plan in tandem with the seasons to meet the rains for a good harvest. Today however, from June to August, which was known as the rainy months in Ghana, we seldom see rainfall. The rains, however, fall unpredictably outside the rainy season, making it difficult for farmers to plan accordingly. Similar erratic, unpredicted rainfall anomalies are taking place around the globe every day, rains so heavy, flooding homes, farms, and cities. Meanwhile, the dry seasons are now prolonged and intensified to the point where, without adequate irrigation, open field farms which are dependent on rains, are becoming impossible to sustain.
2. War & conflict
Wars and rumors of wars have contributed immensely to the looming worldwide food shortages. Conflicts instantly bring production to a grinding go slow or worse a halt. Farmers on their farmlands struggle to provide; such is the case of Ukraine, South Sudan, Yemen and many more, leaving its people running for their lives. These crippling, ripple effects, take a severe adverse toll on the world’s food supply to countries which depend heavily on these imports for survival.
3. Poor public and economic policies
Leadership failures and lack of proper, strategic planning has been a major factor in the shortage of food around the world. This is not so unusual in underdeveloped countries where little priority is given to improve a nation’s agricultural infrastructure to meet a growing population. Especially in places where there are no deliberate efforts by governments to solve recurring flooding, impending climatic and pest issues which periodically lead to loss of farm crops and capital. Elsewhere in what we call the developed world, politics, and power many times take precedence over common sense solutions.
Overall, what do you think? We are a big globe yes, but would it not make more sense to have greater peace, more dialogue and diplomacy, stronger collaborations towards global solutions and stability?