Earth Focus

Season 2011 Episode 04.14.11

The Food Challenge

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The Food Challenge
AIRED:
(Earth Focus: Episode 29) With soaring food prices, a growing population and a changing climate, how will be feed the world? In this episode of Earth Focus, we look at both low and high tech solutions - from treadle pumps and urban farming, to genetically modified animals and mega farms. In the developing world, simple solutions help farmers grow and sell more food thereby helping reduce hunger and poverty. In the industrialized world, high tech solutions are often controversial and raise ethical concerns.We're producing more food than ever, but one child still dies every six seconds from undernourishment. One in six people are hungry, mostly in the developing world. If we have so much food, why is there hunger?There are many reasons. Poverty is a key factor. People need land to grow food, or income to purchase it, and many have neither. One and a half billion people in the world live on less than $1.25 a day and already spend up to 80% of their income on food. For them, a slight uptick in food prices can be a matter of life and death. And because food prices are linked to volatile fuel prices, the prospect of hunger for those living on the brink is greater than ever.Population growth and climate change makes things worse. In 40 years, there will be three billion more mouths to feed on this planet, while climate change brings more droughts and floods affecting our ability to grow food. But things can change. Focusing on boosting the productivity of small farmers and in providing them better access to markets is an approach that builds food security while reducing poverty.moreless
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