Food, glorious food. Unless you don’t have enough. Or it doesn’t nourish you. Or the food destroys the environment.
This weekend driving through my home state of Illinois – part of the US corn belt – past field after field of bright green crops, I wondered about SDG number 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture – and how we can solve this complex agriculture problem. Today 925 million people are hungry, and experts say the number will grow as an additional 2 billion are added to the global population by 2050.
Science is our solution.
Individuals have to start believing in science again. Move past the scare tactics and twisted facts. Get educated. Scientists have been modifying crops for many, many decades without push back until recently. How do you think you got that new apple you love so much or the sweeter corn on the cob you enjoy in the summer? Let the science speak.
Companies need to apply science from a local perspective. Really learn the agricultural and cultural challenges on the ground all over the world. Don’t just import a solution from one region to another. Think long-term and about different ways to do business – different buyers, different ROIs, different partners. Xylem is doing this with its water pump that addresses cultural, agricultural, and local economic factors in India and parts of Africa.
We need markets that work for everyone. Business and government are going to have to be global here. Work together to get the right policies in place to help everyone, not just someone.
Don’t think this is just a developing country problem. People everywhere are hungry and malnourished. Take the US as an example – a place where many think we can’t possibly have a problem. California is running out of water and farmers can’t grow crops. In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. We need to solve this problem everywhere.
Science is our friend. Use it to develop seeds, farming equipment, and food and train farmers so we have enough of the right food grown in a sustainable way to end hunger.
No one should go to bed hungry.
Megan DeYoung Director, Corporate Citizenship.
You can view the full SDGs 2015 blog series here.