Global hunger

Activists are apprehensive that UN would tilt in favour of agribusiness sidetracking sustainable farming

July 28, 2021


There is more than sufficient food for everyone in the world. Exact figures for 2020 are not available though, the United Nations estimates that at least 811 million people did not have enough to eat in 2020, according to a UN official. He describes the prevailing hunger situation in the world as a serious failure of the world’s food systems.

In light of this situation, agriculture ministers and other relevant officials from UN member countries have assembled in Rome to deliberate on the issue before a summit to be held in September in New York aimed at bringing about improvement in the global food systems in the midst of rising hunger. Even prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the UN conceded that the world would miss the target of removing global hunger and malnutrition by 2030. In view of the anticipated failure, the summit will discuss ways and means to ensure adequate food to all in the world. Policymakers, civil society members, farmers and researchers are attending the preparatory meeting in Rome.

Activists are apprehensive that the UN would tilt in favour of agribusiness sidetracking sustainable farming and small farmers. This argument carries much weight as the shape of things to come is being witnessed in a neighbouring country. This largely agricultural country, allegedly at the prompting of international agribusiness interests, is trying, as farmer protesters claim, to impose corporate farming on cultivators. It is feared that the government’s move would not only make farmers subservient to agribusiness but it would further push up prices of food, making access to food for the working classes even more difficult. Farmers are opposing the move vigorously.

Around one-third of the available food in the world is wasted while being handled at farms, in transportation, storage and at the kitchen level. It is at the kitchen level that most food goes to waste. People are deprived of food not so much due to shortage of it, but because they lack the purchasing power to buy food.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2021.

Like Opinion & Editorial on Facebook, follow @ETOpEd on Twitter to receive all updates on all our daily pieces.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ