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Integrating Nutrition And Agriculture For Improved World Food Security

In 1978, the United Nations General Assembly announced that enough food was being produced to feed the world. Since that year, food production has nearly doubled, and yet, as many as 783 million people still face hunger. According to the 2023 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report, the prevalence of moderate to severe food insecurity also remains alarmingly high, affecting approximately 2.4 billion people, which accounts for nearly 30% of the global population. In the face of persistent and concerning statistics, the urgency of addressing food security has never been more evident. This is the second consecutive year of stagnation in progress to end global hunger, intensifying the need for immediate action.

The impact of food insecurity is felt disproportionately by vulnerable groups, namely women, children and individuals living in rural areas. In 2022, over 33% of adults living in rural areas globally faced food insecurity. Furthermore, an estimated 148.1 million children under the age of five (22.3%) were affected by stunting and 45 million (6.8%) were affected by wasting in 2022. These disparities in child malnutrition were especially pronounced in rural areas. 3.1 billion people — 42% of the global population — were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021, and the challenges of food affordability are acutely evident in African countries, where low-income households in peri-urban and rural areas face immense hurdles compared to urban centers. Households in peri-urban and rural areas would need to more than double their food expenditure to secure a healthy diet, underscoring the severity of the situation in these communities. Many rural households do not produce the majority of the food value they consume. In communities that solely practice rainfed agriculture, it is common for families to experience hunger between harvest seasons. The timing between harvests is often referred to as the “hunger months” or “lean season” and can last between three to nine months — if not longer — depending on location and environment. From a farmer’s perspective, the environment controls farming. Uncontrollable circumstances such as droughts, heavy rains, wildfires, conflict and the increasing cost of farming inputs all threaten food security by challenging the availability and affordability of nutritious foods.

Source: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/getting-root-integrating-nutrition-and-agriculture-improved-food-security

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