Agriculture faces many challenges, making it more and more difficult to achieve its primary objective-feeding in the world each year. Population growth and changes in diet associated with rising incomes, drive greater demand for food and other agricultural products, while global food systems are increasingly threatened by land degradation, climate change, and other stressors. Uncertainties exist about regional and local impacts of climate change, but the overall global pattern suggests that the stability of the food system will be at greater risk due to short term variability in the food supply.
Agriculture must embrace technology to meet the rising demand for food and raw materials, contribute more effectively to the reduction of poverty and malnutrition, and to become ecologically more sustainable. This transformation will be crucial for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Poverty and hunger must be eradicated in our generation and should, therefore, be a prominent stand-alone goal. The majority of the world’s poor people live in rural areas, and agricultural growth has proven effective in lifting rural families out of poverty and hunger. Managing the linkages between agriculture, technology, poverty and nutrition is critical as we look towards providing a solution to Africa’s greatest challenges. The new agenda should also have a goal that explicitly focuses on improving agricultural systems and addressing rural development in an integrated manner using technology. Food security targets are fully embedded in these two goals. The contributions of agriculture to goals on gender equality and social inclusion, health, climate change and energy, ecosystem services and natural resources, and good governance must also be recognized in specific targets and indicators for these goals.
Supply and demand balances for agricultural products have become tighter. Global food demand will continue to increase for at least another 50 years due to increasing population and changes of diet. A rapidly expanding middle class is expected to further increase the demand for fruits, vegetables, livestock products (milk, meat and eggs) and fish, but generally also for more processed, packaged and branded food. While economic growth will generally lead to an improvement in nutrition in low and middle-income countries. Both rural and urban food insecurity remain challenges because of rising numbers of people with low and unstable incomes living in settlements with inadequate infrastructure, including inadequate access to food. In many developing countries, urban and rural households that are net buyers of food often spend half of their income on food, have limited means to store it, are exposed to natural disasters and disease epidemics, and are also the most vulnerable to shocks. It is difficult to make accurate predictions of future demand for food and other agricultural products because consumption depends on demographic trends, economic growth, behavioural choices and policy decisions.
AgroHive, an Agritech startup offers workable options to eradicate poverty and hunger while improving the agricultural balance equation in Africa by utilising transformative and simultaneous interventions along the whole food chain- from production to consumption.