There’re 7 billion people on earth, a third malnourished and millions dying of starvation each year. It’s not lack of food: we produce twice what we need. Over the last 50 years, population doubled and food production tripled. The problem is distribution and ignorance. Here are some ideas on how to stop hunger.
SMARTER FARMERS First World farmers produce ten times more food per acre than Third World farmers because: 1) they’re better farmers; and 2) they have better resources. So let’s start the Farm Corps (maybe as a branch of the Peace Corps?). Its sole purpose would be to raise Third World farm production fivefold. Farm Agents go to Africa and teach them how to farm better. Look at Israel. It’s a desert, but they produce as much food per acre as a Kansas farmer. Why? Knowledge. And intelligent use of their resources (they invented drip irrigation, you know). Look at Zimbabwe. In 2000 they produced twice what they needed, but by 2008 couldn’t produce even half. Why? Knowledge. They had it and then they (i.e. Mugabe) expelled it. Just bring it back, and there’d be a fourfold increase in their food production.
RESOURCES To farm you need land, water, high-output seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides. There’s lots of land…it’s called desert. Just add water. There’s lots of water too, most of it wasted. 95%+ of rainfall is lost to run-off. And sewage disposal. Just capture it and store it. Or use desalinization (powered by HeliWinds of course). There’s lots of high output seeds from the Green Revolution. Eat 90% and save 10% to plant next year. OK, the Green Revolution is slowing down, but GMO’s can fill the gap. There’s lots of fertilizer, but we just throw it away. Like sewage from people. And pig farms. It’s 99% water, 1% fertilizer and 0.1% deadly pathogens. Don’t throw it away: clean it and use it! The same with garbage and green cuttings. Compost it. Herbicides and pesticides? Organic farming! It’s harder, but it works. Our Farm Agent will show them how.
DISTRIBUTION I know we can produce all the food we need and the NGO’s can get it to most of the places it’s needed. Except for some places where the government or the rebels won’t allow it? If we weren’t so tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, maybe we could clean up the mess in Darfur?