By Daniel Essiet
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said nearly 690 million people globally were hungry last year.
In a report entitled: “Tracking progress on food and agriculture-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators 2020,” FAO observed that the number was raised by 10 million people in one year and by nearly 60 million in five years.
The report said: “Globally, moderate or severe food insecurity rose between 2015 and 2019, and now affects an estimated 25.9 percent of the world population – about two billion people, with women being more likely than men to face moderate or severe food insecurity.’’
According to the report, collected before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remains insufficient in the food and agriculture domain and that the world was not on track to meet the relevant targets by 2030.
Due to COVID-19, an unprecedented health, economic and social crises that threaten lives and livelihoods, the report said, the achievement of SDGs’targets were becoming more challenging.
For the past decade, the report noted that the government spending on agriculture has remained virtually stagnant compared to the share of agriculture in global gross domestic product(GDP), at levels markedly lower in the early 2000s.
Notwithstanding the reported increase in global holdings of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, from 4.21 million in 2005 to 5.43 million last year, the report added that efforts for securing crop diversity continued to be insufficient, particularly for crop wild relatives and underutilised crop species.