Farming Reforms Needed to Feed Hungry Planet

A series of recent reports by the United Nations suggesting that massive agricultural reform may be necessary to continue feeding an increasingly growing global population has spurred some farmers in the United States to think about ways to encourage efficient, sustainable agricultural production.

Worldwide figures relating to hunger and poverty are universally grim. One in eight people (about 870 million) will go to bed hungry tonight. One-third of all child deaths are caused by malnutrition. Ironically enough, most of the global hungry live on farms (about 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural communities). In the midst of this existing poverty, the United Nations has estimated that worldwide food production will need to increase by 70 percent to feed the estimated 2050 global population.

International corporations and American farmers are looking into the challenges facing global food production and have suggested a series of reforms that can help make agriculture more sustainable and efficient. Most important, these groups argue, is continued research into farm technology. Modified crops, for example, that can withstand higher temperatures and can survive droughts would help protect rural communities across the globe facing a major threat from global climate change.

Some organizations have also argued that economic liberalization and the increase of free trade agreements can help put poor farmers in contact with one another and expand access to needed market. Another vital element of this sustainable shift is more awareness of environmental issues and conservation needs.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer