Life teaches us to talk about basic necessities.  Food, shelter, clothing. We say basic because they are a ‘must have’ to survive on earth and, accordingly, we expect them to be readily available, accessible, affordable and abounding in supply.

Food as a primary need is the fundamental ingredient for growth/human growth and development. It is meant to serve man’s need for strength and vitality. It should mean that food security can nourish and sustain a supply of proper food sources for entire nations and populations.

This picture is however, not so today – not even with heavy investments in global food production – as the world still battles to meet increasing hunger demands across the globe.

Recently, ‘food security’ has moved from a huge to a HUGE issue in which the world could have never imagined such a horrendous problem, escalating to 1 Billion people starving in this #1 nightmare of life.

Several strategies adopted since the green revolution – could not single handedly resolve the food situation, long term. Unlike prior food emergencies, this one is widespread! Rising populations, strong demand from developing countries, increased cultivation of crops for bio-fuels and increasing floods and droughts have sent food prices soaring across the globe. The rise in food prices stoked by increased fuel costs have led to the food crisis becoming the world’s major disaster since World War II.

Some parts of the world, i.e. China, now recognize that too much agricultural land has been turned to other uses. Land is our most precious, natural capital in terms of food production and human survival. In parts of Africa, with agriculture looming so large in most economies, sluggish growth in agricultural productivity has translated into sluggish overall growth and generally low per capita income. High levels of agricultural importation – particularly staples – appear to only partially fill the consumption needs of a population lacking purchasing power. The result is high levels of adult and child malnutrition and towering child mortality rates.

Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, has said: “Tackling hunger is a moral challenge to each of us and it is also a threat to the political and economic stability of nations”.

Whatever the limitations are – land unavailability, climate change, trade limitations, etc. – the fight to make the world less hungry is now!  If there is a time for international cooperation then, it is now when all nations must realize they have a contribution to make no matter how small!

It’s time.  Let’s take the future in our hands.

Oluwaseun, a Theatre Artist and Conflict Management Consultant, holds a degree in Theatre Arts and a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies.

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