Agriculture Buzz Word: “Water”

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What is it? 

Agua, water, H20… No matter what you call it, there is no doubting that it is essential to life on planet earth. However, sometimes there is not enough when and where we need it, and sometimes there is way too much! Currently, the midwestern United States is experiencing the worst drought in the past 50 years, while the southeastern United States is soaking up lots of rain from hurricane season. Whether you believe in global warming/cooling or not, it does seem as if the global climate is changing and that it is creating some big water problems for the global agriculture industry.

Why is it important? 

Consistent and efficient agricultural production is a must for global markets to remain stable! The USDA’s Economic Research Service is predicting the annual corn crop yields from the US to fall about 27% from the predicted yields at planting. That is roughly 4 BILLION bushel’s of corn less than what the global markets are ready for and what farmers were expecting to produce. This sharp decline of production in many different crops across the country will no doubt significantly raise food prices and put farmers into a hard spot. The current drought in “America’s breadbasket” will certainly influence international agriculture trade, global poverty/hunger, and American agricultural techniques and policies.

Now what?

There are several ways that this issue can be addressed. 1) Increased Agri-science research in drought resistant crops, more efficient irrigation techniques, and other efficiency based technologies and techniques. We need bright and innovative agriculturalist to continue to lead the way in global agriculture production. 2) Review current US and international agriculture policies to ensure that governments are working together to overcome the obstacles of drought and flooding, and to continue to focus on our overall goal of feeding the world.

 

 

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Agriculture Buzz Word: “Food Security”

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What is it?

When people say “Food Security” they are not talking about locking the door to the grain silo, but the “security” that a person has the food that they need to live a healthy life. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the following: “Food security refers to a household’s physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills the dietary needs and food preferences of that household for living an active and healthy life.”

Why is it important?

Currently, worldwide about 925 million people (almost three times the entire United States population) are living in chronic hunger due to extreme poverty and up to 2 billion people lack food security on occasion due to seasonal incomes (most of the time related to farming seasons) and growing conditions according to the FAO.

This lack of nutrition can have a severe negative affect on global health!

The worst part about food insecurity is that as people become food insecure, they have less energy to invest in becoming more food secure, whether that is through increased agriculture production or other business ventures.

Think of what you would do/feel like if you did not know where your next meal was coming from? What about if your entire family did not have the food they needed to live a happy and productive life?

What can you do about it?

There are lots of organizations around the world that are attempting to increase global food security. For example, Feed by Seed (the organization that I manage) has a partnership with an organization based out of Somotillo, Nicaragua, where we help manage an 18 acre demonstration and research farm. Through these efforts we have been able to help improve agricultural productions techniques and yields, while also decreasing “hard labor” on the farmers of the region.

I would challenge you to first learn about different organizations who are fighting global hunger, and then think about what ‘you’ can do to help others be more food secure — no matter if it is in your hometown, or in Somotillo, Nicaragua.