Experts chart solutions to end global hunger at ET NOW GBS 2024 panel discussion

Experts chart solutions to end global hunger at ET NOW GBS 2024 panel discussion

The world suffers from food insecurity, with approximately 780 to 800 million people suffering from hunger globally. However, experts believe that the world produces enough food to feed the world’s population. The problem lies in distribution, logistics and consistent availability of nutritious food at affordable prices.

In a panel discussion held at ET NOW GBS 2024, experts from government, research organizations and the private sector in India, Indonesia and Nigeria discussed strategies for ensuring food security. The session was moderated by Sudhakar Tomar – President, India-Middle East Agricultural Trade Alliance. While opening the session and sharing his views on food for thought, he said: “It’s just a matter of not having the right amount of food at the right price, to get the right nutritional value to the right people at the right price.”

Timina Lalani Sharif, Regional Director for South Asia of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, explained how agriculture contributes significantly to climate change while also being strongly affected by it. She emphasized investing in innovations such as climate-smart crops and digital agriculture to build resilient food systems. Increasing public-private partnerships is key to scaling up new solutions.

Shri Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, highlighted India’s journey from food shortages in the 1950s to being a supporter of $50 billion worth of food annually. However, he noted the need to focus research on improving yields and climate resilience, especially for legume crops.

The experts agreed that apart from production, aspects such as food processing, storage, transportation and accessibility remain major challenges in developing countries. Building transportation infrastructure and allocating financing to agriculture through tools such as crop insurance and impact funds can enhance food security.

Moving towards the flavors of the financial industry, shares Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Chairman – Rabo / Ferns Equity Advisors / Prowess Advisors. “I think it’s important to realize that finance is as much an input as any other. You need finance everywhere. Agriculture is very complex, which is why you need complex or structured types of financing solutions.

Sharing his views on food insecurity, Timi Adejuruyi, Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture & Nutrition Ltd., said: “It really comes down to issues around affordability and availability. I would make one point here, which is accessibility, you know And I think those three main things are really super important when you’re talking about diets.

Insan Siafat, Executive Director of the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Indonesia (PISAgro), spoke of the same, saying: “We have been here since 2011-2012, with the aim of supporting the government to achieve food security. But of course, achieving food security is a big thing. Our focus is on Helping the supply chain, helping smallholders, how to engage with them, providing them with a lot of access, so access to market, access to capacity building, access to whole materials.

The good news is that although the world may be facing a food crisis, it also holds solutions. With concerted efforts towards technology, infrastructure, gender inclusion and public-private cooperation, achieving zero hunger may not be such a distant dream.

The path to global food security requires coordinated efforts across production, distribution and access. With technology, infrastructure and collaborative frameworks in place, experts are optimistic that we can end hunger in our lifetime. There will be challenges along the way, but the world already produces enough food to feed everyone. It is time to work together and make nutritious, affordable food consistently available at every corner through strategic investments and partnerships.

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