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Feeding the whole world by 2030?

Our planet is a plentiful resource, capable of feeding and nourishing both humans and animals from its vast and diverse produce. If resources are used correctly, evenly and with equality in mind, that is.

Today, humanity's allotment of natural resources for 2019 will be all used up. Over the past 20 years, Earth Overshoot Day has moved up three months to July 29. Humanity uses now the equivalent of 1.7 Earths to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste.

Starting today, humanity will consume more resources through the end of 2019 than the planet can sustainably regenerate for the year, according to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), which has been calculating Earth Overshoot Day since 1986.

Back in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly laid out The Sustainable Development Goals, which are a collection of 17 global goals to be achieved across the world by 2030. Goal number 2 was that our world cannot advance until each and every one of its inhabitants' food is secured. With that, the nations of the UN agreed that no one will go hungry by 2030.

While this is an ambitious goal today, and was back in 2015, the world's nations showed courage in achieving this together, united. Today however, the reality of reaching this goal is moving further and further away as global hunger is on the rise.

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup. This time we are looking at the prospect of feeding the world, the whole world that is. And what needs to be done in order to meet the looming 2030 deadline, as well as what are our biggest challenges.

Read. Debate: Engage.

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The good

Food innovation and awareness of its power is on the rise in developed countries

Which is turn, trickles down to developing countries still fighting food poverty and hunger. According to figures published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the "total demand for agricultural products in 2030 will be about 60 percent higher than today. More than 85 percent of this additional demand will be in the developing countries, as nearly all population growth will be there." At the same time, while this prospect is daunting, innovation around yielding produce and alternative meats in the West is set to relieve some of the strains of the swelling population and its need for rising agriculture. Beyond Meats for example, an American plant-based meats alternative company that is set to lowering our meat consumption, with a particular focus on the high-consumption numbers of U.S. citizens. The FAO outlines that reducing meat consumption in the West will relieve grain agriculture in developing countries – used to feed cattle – and allow for more diverse agriculture growth.

In the same breath, technology has allowed for the development of alternative agriculture, such as growing crops under seawater where landmass is scarce for agriculture. In Italy for example, is growing Basil alongside another 700 plant types underwater in Northern Italy's beach town Noli's sea.

We can feed the whole world by 2030 if we use the technology and insight we have to date and implement the knowledge we've accumulated.

The bad

World hunger is on the rise for the third consecutive year

As the world population swells, the number of those who are going hungry is on the rise for the third consecutive year, according to the latest UN report. The exact number you might ask? 820 million people.

The rise in the number of people who do not have enough food has over the past three years after, as reported by The Guardian, real a decade that saw real progress being made. This is a result of a growing population, yes, but for many countries on the poverty line, such as the countries in Sub-Sahara – Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria – this is a result of climate change and growing internal and international war and corruption.

In response to the growing hunger in Sub-Sahara, Mercy Corps was founded. It is a humanitarian aid organisation that is dedicated to providing first response to communities facing emergencies, such as food shortage and hunger. Mercy Corps operates locally and directly with the communities at risk to help find on the growned solutions to some of the most pressing issues faced by local communities.


Support efforts to end hunger in Sub Saharan Africa

by Yair Oded

Help terminate rampant famine in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Food around the world

Leaders Who Use Hunger as a Weapon

It is possible to completely end famines, according to Alex de Waal, a Tufts University-based researcher, but not without a global effort to hold accountable the people who create the conditions for these emergencies.
poverty uk

The U.K.'s efforts to destroy people with poverty

by Gurmeet Singh

The UN's assessment of the U.K.'s austerity policies is bleak: the U.K. is unnecessarily punishing its poorest citizens.

The pioneering Push-Pull method and its appeal over agrochemicals

by Stefan Diener

While debates about pesticides and their effects persist, the Push-Pull method is making the case for agroecological, sustainable farming in Eastern Africa.
food crisis

The irony of our food system

by Bob Koigi

There are currently more obese than hungry people, a situation never experienced before.
Country focus

Sitting on the north-eastern coast of Africa, and nestled between Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Libya and Egypt, Sudan once was considered the most geographically diverse country in the African continent. Today it is a country associated with internal political turmoil, corruption, bloody wars and famine.

In July 2011, Sudan was split into two nations, Sudan and South Sudan, following a vote by the largely Christian and Animist population of its south demanded independence from the Arab Muslim north. While this was granted to them by the government, tensions over shared oil have continued to fuel a hostile environment.

With a population of 39 million citizens, Sudan has experienced two rounds of civil war around the north-south issues of trade and oil, with more than 1.5 million lives lost.

From December 2018 onwards, President Omar al-Bashir faced large-scale protests which demanded his removal from power. On 11 April 2019, Bashir who himself came to power by a military coup d'état in 1989 was ousted in a military coup. Bashir is accused of organising war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In June 2019, peaceful mass demonstrations calling for an immediate transition to civilian rule have been brutally cracked down by fighters from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). More than 100 people were killed and more than 700 injured, according to Amnesty International.

Media freedom remains restricted in Sudan, with internet restriction and blackout being used as a political tool, despite the fact that more than a quarter of Sudan's population being online.