Agriculture Saves Livelihoods and Lives: Put an End to World Hunger


In 2017, the Food and Agriculture Organization has made a worrying announcement. The number of hungry people all over the world has increased after so many decades of progress in eliminating famine.

The analysis for this year shows that there will be another increase on the risk more people experiencing famine.

It means that people haven’t been able to respond in humanitarian crises, even though efforts have been made. Humanitarian assistance must be combined with development actions in order to get better results.

Saving Lives by Saving Livelihoods

The main goal should be to invest in agriculture. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization stated this fact:

‘Agriculture and local food production cannot be afterthoughts. Investing in agriculture not only saves lives and protects livelihoods, but it lays the foundations for recovery and resilience building.’

Families that count on their livestock, crops, fishing or forests and lose that vital part that helps them feed themselves, they go through a crisis and lose their hope. So, in order to help them, we must protect their livelihood.

There’s an 80% of those that rely on crops, livestock and so on, that are at risk of severe hunger. Humanitarian appeals often forget about the agriculture sector, when it’s a vital factor that could protect rural people from hunger in case of an emergency.

Agricultural production can continue even if there is a crisis. For example, in Syria, there’s been six years of violence, but 75% of families still produce their own food. No matter the conflicts, agricultural production carried on.

In 2017, FAO used $20 million in the planting season in N-E Nigeria and one million people had enough food produced that would last them for the next half of year. Each family would get a kit that costs $86. Somalia benefited of treatments for their livestock that was only $0.40 for an animal, protecting it – replacing a dead animal would have been $40.

And the demand for limited resources keeps on growing, so there must be a new way of solving the increasing crisis of hunger.

Support Local Food Production and Agriculture

The Saudi-led coalition has pledged $1 billion to support Yemen in the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan. The decades of progress in eliminating world hunger must be renewed and the goal is something we must all commit to in order to have a Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger.

Agriculture and the production of local food must be our main concern, and investing in these fields will protect livelihoods and also lays a good foundation in recovering and building resilience.

Zero Hunger must be the main goal and not a dream we just try to reach to. Humanitarian assistance must focus on solving this issue first.

Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.


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