Crisis in Agriculture and Food Insecurity
Since the 1970’s global food crisis, concern over food security for humanity’s survival has been the center of agricultural research and development. The Green Revolution tried to mitigate the crisis by promoting high-yielding seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. For a time, this significantly increased food production for the booming global population. A proportion of undernourished people in the world fell from 27% in 1979 to 20% in 1992.
But eventually, food production has outpaced population growth. The promise of Green Revolution did not fully materialize because the social and environmental costs have been equally high in terms of (a) increasing rural indebtedness, (b) negative effects of chemicals on soils, water and human health, (c) the loss of biodiversity and indigenous farming systems, (d) the neglect of poor farmers and marginal lands in favor of better-off farmers in irrigated lands, among others.
Today, more than 1 billion are suffering from food insecurity and poverty. About 800 million people are chronically malnourished. Every day, 6 million children under age of five are dying of malnutrition and related preventable diseases due to lack of vitamins and minerals. Many believe that poverty and hunger are the root causes of political turmoil and armed conflicts including the growing tide of refugees.
Meanwhile, climate change or global warming is a serious threat facing the world today, which is expected to put 49 million extra people at risk of hunger by 2020 and 132 million by 2050. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the rural poor who are dependent on agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry are the most vulnerable sector because they lack the institutional and financial capacity to withstand the negative effects and impact of climate change.
There are calls from the Heads of States and international organizations enjoining all members of society to join a global movement in fighting hunger and eradicating poverty. The UN World Food Summits organized between the period 1996 to 2010 saw the delegates from different nations committed for the attainment of universal food security and re-affirmed: the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food the fundamental right of everyone to freedom from hunger.” ANGOC’S Response
ANGOC primarily believes that food insecurity stems from unequal distribution of resources and the inequitable access to productive assets by the rural poor. The prevailing unjust structures and social systems are further aggravated by the state policies supporting trade liberalization and commercialization of agriculture. It is imperative that the structure and patterns of international trade and external investments must be calibrated to facilitate the implementation of poverty-oriented rural development strategies.
Hence, ANGOC has three major components to attain food security, as embodied in its program areas