Family farming is an opportunity
The theme of 2014 World Food Day theme was “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth”. The topic was chosen to stress the importace of family farming and smallholder farmers.
The goal of the event was to draw the world’s attention to the crucial task for the planet, that of eradicating famine and poverty, as well as providing food security. The organizers also wished to emphasize the theme in the context of improving livelihoods, managing rural resources, environment protection, and achieving sustainable development in rural areas in particular.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly decided to make 2014 “The International Year of Family Farming”. The campaign serves as a signal that the international community considers family farms an opportunity to provide global food security.
Key issues concerning famine in the world
The most prominent findings prepared by UN Food and Agricultural Organization were made public on World Food Day, which is celebrated on October 16th.
It is estimated that in 2011-13 there were 842 million people in the world suffering from chronic famine, and regularly receiving too few nutrients to satisfy their basic daily needs. The figure was smaller than that from 2010-12, or 868 million. Also, since 1990-92 the total number of people suffering from malnourishment has fallen by 17%!
In developing countries, there has been marked progress towards reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goal Target 1, that of eradicating hunger. Provided that the average decline of the number of the malnourished continues, the world might approach a level close to the target. However, much effort and assistance from the developed economies is required if this goal is to be reached.
Policy of reducing poverty, famine and malnutrition
Economic growth in developing nations could boost incomes and reduce hunger in some areas. What we need to keep in mind, though, is that producing even GDP growth in all countries is all but impossible.
Poor, simple diet is a serious threat for the functioning of the inhabitants of the developing nations. Under nutrition rather than undernourishment is a grave issue, with people consuming too little calories and nutrients every day. Rather than focus on increasing the daily food intake, it is necessary to change the habits and introduce products which are going to satisfy the calorie demand.
Policy that focuses on improving farming efficiency and food availability, especially if targeted at the smallholder farmers and family farms, may reduce hunger even in the areas where the problem is widespread. If such measures are accompanied by social protection and assistance schemes, they may fuel the development of rural areas. The objective is to create new markets and increase employment opportunities, so that all the inhabitants can reap the benefits of the ensuing economic growth and the improving economic situation.
All those changes remain linked to the natural environment and resignation from intensive farming methods. Those are being replaced by sustainable farming, based on the natural farming techniques, efficient fertilization and irrigation.
Providing food security is an immensely complex task. In order to maintain balance, it is necessary to take various other factors into consideration, including the development of the region, the pace of progress, access to investment, financing and education, political stability, and the standard of education.