On a planet that is sustaining more than seven billion people, producing enough food to feed them all is a major challenge. However, producing enough food is not the primary problem. Rather, it’s the distribution, affordability, and access to all the food that is produced that causes food insecurity for millions.
In fact, more than nine million people a year die from famine, according to Mercy Corps, an international relief agency.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) reports that the number of people facing food insecurity rose by 60 million between 2014 and 2019. The situation is even more confounding considering that, in modernized nations, from 30% to 40% of all food is simply tossed in the trash because it goes unused.
The challenge of achieving even food distribution globally is considerable. Experts say a key area where this problem can be attacked is in the realm of agricultural investment. This process can be handled in multiple ways. One of the biggest factors is the funding provided by governments. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the FAO with $529 million contributed in 2019 alone.
This money is used to support things like crop forecasting, sustainable agriculture, disaster relief (as in the case of famine), food safety, and more. The FAO funds collaborative research efforts between nations seeking to increase food production. More importantly, it works on ways to get food where it is needed and to make it affordable.
Industry observers say that investing in agricultural technology must be a high priority going forward. That’s because there are a series of factors that are putting pressure on growing enough food for everyone. For example, climate change is producing longer periods of drought that destroy crops. That can be countered by technological advances that produce food varieties that can sustain warmer and drier growing conditions.
The central thing to remember about bolstering ag-tech is that it costs money. That’s the role of agricultural investment. Governments, corporations, local farmers, and communities must put more financial resources into creating advanced food-growing technologies that will sustain food production in the coming years.
Additionally, geopolitical factors, social factors, and government policy all play a role in producing food and getting it to the tables of all those who need it around the world.