Ending Hunger: Sustainable Development Goal 2

Hunger is the leading cause of death in the world. Our planet has provided us with tremendous resources, but unequal access and inefficient handling leaves millions of people malnourished. If we promote sustainable agriculture with modern technologies and fair distribution systems, we can sustain the whole world’s population and make sure that nobody will ever suffer from hunger again.

Sustainable Development  Goals 2030

In September 2015, Heads of State and Government came together at the Sustainable Development Goals Summit to renew their determination to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Why is this important?

Working to improve food and agriculture can have a substantial impact on the attainment of the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals, as it can help combat climate change, bolster economic growth, and contribute to peace and stability in societies around the world.

Targets

Universal Access to safe and nutritious food  (target 2.1) end all forms of malnutrition (target 2.2) double the productivity and income of small scale producers (target 2.3) sustainable  food production  and resilient agricultural  practices (target 2.4). maintain the genetic diversity in food production (target 2.5) Invest in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology and gene banks (target 2.a). Prevent agricultural trade restrictions, market distortions and export subsidies (target 2.b) Ensure stable food commodity markets and timely access to information (target 2.c).

The Challenge

As per UN & FAO globally, the proportion of undernourished people in developing regions has fallen by almost half since 1990, from 23.3% in 1990-1992 to 12.9% in 2014-2016. As per FAO estimates, 2017 saw the third consecutive rise in world hunger, with the absolute number of undernourished people i.e. those facing chronic food deprivation increasing to 821 million. One in every 9 people in the world is undernourished. Asia’s decreasing trend in undernourishment seems to be slowing down significantly, with 515 million deemed undernourished in 2017. Unless we profoundly rethink global food and agricultural systems, it is estimated that the number of hungry people worldwide could drastically climb by 2050.

Facts & Figures

  • The number of undernourished people reached 821 million in 2017.
  • In 2017 Asia accounted for nearly two thirds, 63 percent, of the world’s hungry.
  • Nearly 151 million children under five, 22 %, were still stunted in 2017.
  • More than 1 in 8 adults is obese.
  • 1 in 3 women of reproductive age is anemic.
  • 26% of workers are employed in agriculture.

India & Goal 2

United Nations India mentions that South Asia still faces one of the greatest hunger burden, with over 15% of the population considered undernourished. To improve the situation in India government is strengthening agriculture through measures like improved irrigation, crop insurance, and improved seed varieties. The government has also taken critical steps to enhance food security, including through an India-wide targeted public distribution system, a National Nutrition Mission and the National Food Security Act. The rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna, National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture  and many national schemes on horticulture, agricultural technology and livestock are leading the way in improving India’s agriculture states the Government of India.

COVID 19 implications on SDG 2

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020 observe  that  covid 19 crisis is imperiling progress towards the Goals, it also makes their achievement all the more urgent and necessary. It is essential that recent gains be protected as much as possible and that a truly control & recovery from from COVID-19 be pursued, one that reduces the risk of future crises and brings much closer the inclusive and sustainable development required to meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, the first task of the decade of action. To make further progress in proper direction and right pace we require leadership, foresight, innovation, finance and collaboration among all governments and all stakeholders. 

How can we address this? 

The strategies suggested by the United Nations  to achieve goal 2 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda seeks to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition, and double agricultural productivity in the next 15 years. Ensuring this sustainable access to nutritious food universally will require sustainable food production and agricultural practices. By doubling the productivity. Increasing  income of small scale farmers. Helping the poorest of poor to escape poverty. political  will is important to achieving zero hunger.

Conclusion

The hunger is not only because of non availability of food. The problem is also associated with the distribution system and social fabric. Along with eliminating hunger we need to ensure that all people get nutritious and timely food.  Global solidarity & cooperation on the issue of providing  enough, timely & nutritious food is a need of the hour.

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