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The United Nations' secretary-general has stated that world food production must increase by 50% by 2030 in order to meet the population's demands. KSMU's Megan Keathley spoke with a former U.N. agriculture consultant to learn about the politics of food, and what you can do to help prevent a hunger crisis.
Increase food production by half, and do it within 20 years. That was U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon's appeal to world leaders at a Rome food summit last month. But one Missouri State professor says it's not so much about food production as it is about food distribution. Dr. Inno Onwueme is Associate Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, as well as a former food consultant for the U.N.
Onwueme believes that the answer to hunger problems is much more complex than to simply "grow more." He says that food availability depends on a broad range of factors, including environmental, economic, and geopolitical conditions.
The U.N. secretary-general said last month that nations had to cut back on export restrictions and import tariffs. Onwueme says that while this might provide short-term relief, it will only lead to countries being too reliant on foreign exports.
Dr. Onwueme encourages area residents to purchase locally-produced foods. He says this practice is not only an integral part of a long-term hunger relief plan; it's also environmentally conscious during a time of high cost for both food and energy.