SDG on Zero Hunger and its Prospects in Bangladesh
Shohana Islam Sraboni:
Poverty and severe poverty are returning to the lives of poor individuals who had previously risen beyond the poverty line prior to the Covid-19 epidemic. Being laid off from employment, being placed on lockdown, being quarantined, and other measures have had a significant effect on one’s ability to earn a living. Instances in which an individual is compelled to steal food from a grocery store because there is no food for his or her kid and themselves at home. People who are living on the edge of poverty are unable to buy food let alone nutritious foods. The government may play a vital role in this critical situation by supplying food or by directing various groups to collect money to ensure that no one goes hungry during this difficult period.
To embrace this complexity, we need to endeavor sustainable agriculture.
According to the Global Food Security Index 2020, Bangladesh was rated 84th out of 113 nations. Food insecurity affects 40 percent of the population in Bangladesh, and it may be divided into three categories: hunger, starvation, and chronic hunger. Hunger has a number of negative consequences, including malnutrition, undernutrition, child stunting, and child wasting. Bangladesh, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is one of the nations with the highest incidence of malnutrition. During the covid epidemic, the situation got worse with the rate of poverty increasing from 20.5 percent to 29.5 percent in the most recent fiscal year. Slums and rural regions are home to 28% of the world’s population who can not afford food or other necessities. The pace of development is too sluggish to achieve the 2025 goals set by the World Health Assembly in 2012, much above the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were proposed during the United Nations meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, and these goals were formally approved by the United Nations in 2015 after being ratified by the General Assembly. The Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs), also known as Global Goals, are a set of 17 goals with 169 targets that form part of the 2030 Agenda for a better world. Zero Hunger is the second objective of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Approximately one percent of Bangladesh’s agricultural land is lost each year, according to the World Bank. In 1976, the ratio was 91.83 percent to 87.69 percent, 83.53 percent to 70.69 percent, and 83.53 percent to 70.69 percent in 2000, 2010, and 2018. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the figure is 50.70 percent in 2018. The pace of agricultural land being lost will continue to rise and by 2050 there will be a minimum quantity of agricultural land available, which will result in scarcity since we already know that not all land is suitable for farming. The government and NGOs will play a vital role to fight against hunger.
- To fully benefit from a globalized economy, the government must provide social security benefits to the most vulnerable. This opportunity will enhance the purchasing power of the poorest, stimulating demand, new job creation, and local economies. Investing in holistic development is not only moral but also economically sound.
- A third of the four billion metric tons of food is produced annually, costing the world economy 750 billion dollars. Food is often wasted in wealthy nations, while food is lost in developing countries owing to a lack of storage or farmers’ inability to sell their crops or delicacies.
- Everyone should have access to healthy food. By creating sustainable marketplaces, we must innovate and invest in more sustainable supply chains. We can see that most farmers do not receive the best price when they sell it. Due to the lack of transportation, they cannot sell crops directly. We must improve rural infrastructure, particularly roads, storage, and electricity to enable farmers to reach a wider market.
- Rice, wheat, maize, and soy currently account for 60% of global calorie consumption. To combat climate change, food supply and access, we must help farmers to research and develop new crops. Crop variety can provide people with nutritious food and an active lifestyle. To achieve this objective, we must educate farmers in the cultivation of these products and provide them with the required tools and knowledge. Similarly, we must educate the public about the nutritional benefits of various foods.
- Excellent health and nutrition are critical for a child’s development, particularly around age two. We must guarantee that toddlers and pregnant women get the nutrition they need to develop healthily.
The nations who have conquered hunger have done so by implementing sustainable agriculture, which has the advantage of intersecting many objectives. Climate change is one of the most significant factors contributing to famine. It is related to the amount of food produced to the amount of food available; as production drops, the price of food rises, then the impoverished people are unable to buy it and the rate of hunger begins to rise. Climate-Smart Agriculture may aid in the reduction of hunger by lowering the carbon footprint of agricultural production. Climate-Smart strategies and implementations help to reduce not just hunger but poverty as well. We have a neighboring nation, India, who has embraced this climate-wise agricultural practice. The Indian government has distributed coarse grains, which are both extremely nutritious and resistant to climate-induced stressors such as drought and flood. Not only did they embrace sustainable agriculture, but they also incorporated it into their National Food Security Act, which was passed in 2008.
Individuals may also make a difference in the fight against hunger. Individuals may affect change in their own lives – at home, at work, and in the community – by supporting local farmers or markets and adopting sustainable food choices. People can also promote and encourage balanced eating for everyone while combating food waste. Businesses may also make decisions and adjustments that will contribute to the achievement of Zero Hunger. If the government and non-government organizations work together, it will be much easier to have a hunger-free Bangladesh.
Writer : Department of Law And Human Rights, University Of Asia Pacific.