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Human civilization must consume resources on a massive scale in order to survive and sustain itself. However, taking a look over the world affairs portrays a grim picture regarding the environment and subsequent sustainability. Furthermore, living in a consumerist and modern society means that humans consume a lot of natural resources in the developed world. These resources are key to maintain a balance of ecology. In order to preserve the biodiversity of the land we have around ourselves, there must be a balance in the consumption and production of natural resources. This production must not result in loss of biodiversity making animals and organisms deprive of their habitat.
The foremost natural resource a human being consumes is the food that grows out of the land. Consuming food at a rapid pace means that in the future we would have food insecurity among the generations to come. Food security is termed as the availability of food and the access of one towards it. A household can be deemed as food secure if the members are free from acute hunger or there are no ominous clouds of starvation looming above them. In 1996 at World Food Summit held in Rome, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) defined food security as “When all people at all the times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life". Taking into account the drastic climate changes witnessed in the past decade means that food security and it's supply is susceptible to disruption in the future. Continuous instability and uncertainty in the different countries of the world like Syria, Yemen, the Central American states of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador have seen mass migration into The USA and European countries. This increase in the migration has given rise to multiple problems like employment, healthcare, and food security. Of all the problems, food security is of particular concern. To tackle this issue farming practices that are in place must be updated and reconciled with modern practices to improve the produce-both in quality and quantity. Moreover, at the individual level, one must change and improve dietary habits to ensure food security.
Establishing modern farming practices the world over can help improve the overall picture of food security. Modern farming practices include not only educating farmers but also modernizing infrastructure, improving pest improvisation techniques. Some other aspects of sustainable farming include maintenance of healthy soil, applying water efficiently, and promoting and maintaining biodiversity. Agroforestry and water harvesting are among many techniques that are considered to be promoting sustainability and hence food security. Agroforestry is defined as the planting of shrubs along with the crops (Santiago-Freijanes et.al, 2018). These shrubs help to protect the crop against severe weather conditions. This farming technique controls temperature, keep a check on sunlight and improves the ability of crops to withstand the vagaries of nature. While agroforestry produces a number of different products like food, firewood, and timber, it also improves food security, reduces soil erosion and provides additional income to the farmer (Santiago-Freijanes et.al, 2018). Water harvesting is accounted as using the rainfall for farming. Water harvesting ensures that farmers have ample reserves of water in seasons without rains.
At the individual level, there are multiple ways that can ensure food security. First, the wastage of food must be brought to an end. According to FAO, about one-third of the food produced globally gets wasted. Stoping food waste has economic benefits. It also decreases the amount of methane. The whole community benefits from the stoppage of food wastage (Aschemann-Witzel et.al, 2015). It ensures a steady food supply to those starving (Aschemann-Witzel et.al, 2015). Second, food security can be increased by reducing meat intake and increasing grain intake. According to FAO, forty percent of the world's share of grains is used in feeding fish and livestock. Had human population consumed the aforementioned amount of grains, 925 million people would have been pulled out of food insecurity.
Improving food security demands efforts not only at the level of governments and states but also at the individual level. Governments can create awareness programs among farmers and provide incentives to move onto modern farming practices. Individually, one can contribute to global food cause by improving dietary habits.
Santiago-Freijanes, J. J., et al. "Understanding agroforestry practices in Europe through landscape features policy promotion." Agroforestry systems 92.4 (2018): 1105-1115.
Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica, et al. "Consumer-related food waste: Causes and potential for action." Sustainability 7.6 (2015): 6457-6477.
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