Agroecology as Solution to World Hunger


Photo credit: Food Tank

A new report from the Environmental Working Group suggests that supporting smallholder farmers demonstrates promising potential in the fight to end world hunger.

Environmental Working Group Highlights Agroecology as Solution to World Hunger

Feeding the World: Think U.S. Agriculture Will End World Hunger? Think Again is a new report from Craig Cox and Anne Weir at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that takes a close look at the United States’ agricultural export economy and its relationship to hunger and undernourishment across the globe. Its findings suggest that the root cause of hunger in the most undernourished countries is not a lack of imports from American farmers, but widespread poverty.

Authors Cox and Weir told Food Tank, “Since 2009, we have continued to hear a lot of agricultural interests claim that American farmers need to increase their production of commodities and meat products in order to ‘feed the world.’” Driven by concerns over how the call to intensify production to help curb hunger worldwide may obscure the environmental consequences of intensive forms of agriculture, Cox and Weir said, “We wanted to see if the U.S. is actually feeding those who are experiencing the highest levels of hunger.”

Through analysis of agricultural trade over the past decade, the authors demonstrated how the majority of U.S. agricultural exports do not contribute in a major way to the food supplies of the most undernourished countries. In the world’s hungriest countries, U.S. food exports, often as food aid, accounted for just 1.2 percent of the total food supply in the past ten years. The 19 hungriest countries received only one-half of one percent of the total value of U.S. agricultural exports in 2015. 59 percent of the goods exported to the hungriest countries were food grains like rice and wheat. And just two countries, Yemen and Haiti, received the majority of exported goods—63 percent—in the past decade.

Read the full article: Food Tank

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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