While agricultural production of fruits and vegetables has surged in recent decades, millions of Ethiopians are still not eating them. Children are hit the hardest by poor-quality diets, with millions suffering from growth-limiting stunting.
Malnutrition is a global epidemic, and two organizations have gathered a group of global experts to come up with solutions in the food supply chain that can improve nutrition in emerging economies in just five years.
“No country has a monopoly on the problem [of malnutrition], so no country has a monopoly on the solution: we all have to work together,” says Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva explains the urgent need to reduce hunger and malnutrition across the globe as the human right to food becomes a growing priority.
“If Google can do driverless cars, and we can tell a coffeemaker to start brewing while we’re still asleep,” Dr. Mercy Lung’aho tells Food Tank, “we can do something about malnutrition.”
“These guys are feeding the poor but their financing is very poor,” says Bonnie McClafferty, GAIN’s food value chain director. “They are pretty much falling through the cracks because they’re too small for all of the big lending and they’re too big for microfinance.”
The coexistence of hunger and obesity has created a disturbing paradox worldwide. Hunger cannot be solved simply through increasing food production. Nourished Planet examines the underlying structural issues causing these imbalances and explores solutions.
Plant biodiversity is rapidly declining and little research has been invested in sustainable and nutritious indigenous crops, which can lead to improved health outcomes and increased food security.
Food price volatility pushes millions into poverty, especially in low-income countries, leading to widespread malnutrition and civil unrest. Commodity prices are no longer determined by quality or supply and demand, rather financial speculators undermine the price of food, contributing to global instability.