Hunger in Latin-America and the Caribbean is on the rise. This is according to data from among other sources, the Food And Agriculture Organization of the UN. This dangerous rise will make existing conflicts worse and will lead to loss of life and a breakdown of social norms that worsens violence in places like Venezuela.
Starvation is a serious threat that needs to be recognized and addressed substantially. It’s still worth noting that in Latin-America hunger isn’t the only thing that inefficient and ineffective food systems are partially responsible for: so too is the increase in obesity which has been occurring in Latin-America.
What Can Be Done To Combat Rising Rates Of Hunger?
It’s easy to say that a problem needs to be looked at and addressed, but how does someone actually go about addressing it? In the case of addressing hunger in Latin-America a variety of steps can be taken by leaders throughout the region provided they recognize the very real threat that starvation poses to the people directly and indirectly. Here are just a few.
Step 1: Increase Investment In Research And Funding For GM Seeds & Work To Encourage Cultivation Of Gm Crops
GMOs are vital in a world that is increasingly affected by climate change and Latin-America is a region that will be significantly affected by climate change. GM crops have an ability to resist and mitigate some of the adverse effects of climate change and that existing ability will increase and improve as our investment in GM cropss increases and as our technology improves as a result of that. That’s why some people who’ve wondered and written about how the world will be affected by climate change have started saying or have been saying that GMOs will be one of the keys to keeping hunger at bay as the climate continues to change. It’s also worth noting that there is existing support for GMOs in Latin-America, as this article points out. Part of this also means working to make GM seeds accessible to normal farmers and campaigning for GMOs in parts of Latin-America that remain stridently anti-GMO. This also includes investing in science communications and science communicators as well as investing in agricultural science programs, graduates, and researchers especially in Central America. Also realize that this isn’t being done solely to mindlessly increase how much food Latin-America produces but rather to prepare Latin-America for worsening harvests in the wake of climate change and increased dangerous and unpredictable weather which destroys crops and lessens arable land.
Step 2: Work With Agricultural NGOs And Other Similar Groups in Latin-AmericaThere are plenty of fantastic and active agricultural NGOs in Latin America that deserve increased awareness and support in a variety of ways from Latin-American lawmakers and leaders. Among these NGOs are CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), the Global Soil Partnership, and the World Agroforestry Centre.
Step 3: Acknowledge That This Problem Isn’t Tied Solely To The Actual Food Sources But Also The Inequalities In Food Distribution
At least part of the problem isn’t food production but rather the system by which food is distributed. This means that it’s not enough to produce more food (because Latin-America already produces enough food to feed itself) but that it is also necessary to distribute it more equitably. This doesn’t mean that food producers shouldn’t be looking at ways to improve their techniques and their efficiency but it does mean that a serious and international look at the methods by which food arrives to consumers is necessary to meaningfully address hunger in Latin-America (by making healthy foods more accessible to lower-income individuals). After acknowledging this important fact work consciously to change it, because changing this in meaningful ways requires everyone’s participation.
Step 4: Encourage Ethical Practices Among Food Creators And Food Distributors In Latin-America
In realizing that the problem isn’t Latin-America’s food production abilities but rather the systems by which the produced food gets to consumers it’s also necessary to have conversations about food ethics. What needs to happen is that newly improved food systems need to force those operating within them to behave ethically and to act not in the interests of profit but in the interests of healthy consumption and of the consumers themselves. This is something that needs to happen because without ethical food creators and distributors, which are some of the key figures in any food systems, achieving maximal food production and maximally effective and efficient food distribution is impossible.
These are just some of the ways that hunger can be fought within Latin-America. If Latin-American leaders care about the people they lead, they’ll want to go these things and won’t wait until worsening health conditions and damaged harvests begin to happen to take action. They’ll want to improve existing food systems, they’ll want their food creators/growers to have already achieved maximum possible efficiency prior to the worsening impacts of climate change ruin any harvests of theirs, they’ll want to have positive relationships with leading agricultural NGOs so that their work is already happening in their communities.
I wrote this post out because I want to start working on a series of posts about problems in Latin-America and remedies that can begin the long term work needed to address them. I am doing this because as a Hispanic humanist I want to tie humanism and problem-solving together. I want to be a pragmatic humanistic thinker and this is me beginning to move my blog in that direction. Let me know what you think and let’s have a chat in the comments section down below!