Sustainable agriculture &
Think about how much food you eat each day. Now, think about how big the human population is and how much food is needed to feed all of those people. Since the development of agriculture, most of the food needed to feed the population has been produced through industrialized agriculture. Since the 1960s, the amount of food produced through this type of agriculture has increased drastically, and currently there is enough food produced to feed every human on Earth.
Although industrialized agriculture has been successful in producing large quantities of food, the future of food production is in jeopardy due to problems in agriculture. Two of the most major problems in agriculture are the loss of agricultural land and the decrease in the varieties of crops and livestock produced.
Worldwide, around three million hectares of agricultural land are lost each year because the soil degrades and becomes unusable due to erosion, which is when soil components move from one location to another by wind or water. An additional four million hectares are lost each year when agricultural land is converted and used for highways, housing, factories, and other urban needs.
“Healthy” soil is an important component of sustainability. Methods to enhance and protect the productivity of the soil include using cover crops, compost/manures, avoiding traffic on wet soils, and maintaining soil cover with plants/mulches.
Malnutrition, in all its forms, includes undernutrition (wasting, stunting, underweight), inadequate vitamins or minerals, overweight, obesity, and resulting diet-related noncommunicable diseases.
1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese, while 462 million are underweight.
52 million children under 5 years of age are wasted, 17 million are severely wasted and 155 million are stunted, while 41 million are overweight or obese.
The developmental, economic, social, and medical impacts of the global burden of malnutrition are serious and lasting, for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries.
Around 45% of deaths among children under 5 years of age are linked to undernutrition. These mostly occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, in these same countries, rates of childhood overweight and obesity are rising.
Malnutrition can begin as early as conception. If a mother does not receive proper nutrition during pregnancy, her child will already be at risk of developmental problems. This means that early intervention is crucial.
Child hunger is a very significant issue today. World Hunger defines hunger as protein-energy malnutrition, or a lack of calories and protein. UNICEF estimates state that malnutrition in children affects nearly 195 million worldwide. Discussed below are the leading facts about malnutrition in children and its implications.
The main cause of child malnutrition is poverty. Conversely, hunger contributes to poverty, creating a vicious cycle. Another factor contributing to malnutrition is conflict: years of civil war in Libya have put parents in a difficult position without access to food for their families. Natural disasters, particularly droughts and floods, are also contributors to child malnutrition.
(Sources: borgenproject.org, who.int)