How Can Green Technology Improve Food Security?
Food security has been one of our society’s biggest and most wicked problems, especially during the ongoing pandemic.
As most first-world countries continue to supply more on their agricultural aspects while managing other crises, other countries suffer a lot because of the current global health crisis and worsening economic conditions.
We are in a state where food security is becoming the number one concern. But one type of technology is gaining the attention of everyone – green technology.
The Urgency of Global Food Security
The global food security crisis is due to the imbalance in food production and the increasing number of people drowning in hunger.
As population and income keep rising due to inflation, the number of middle-class people is also hitting unprecedented growth, affecting the demand for food and other natural resources.
It leaves the vulnerable groups, including the rural and urban poor, with an inadequate and inaccessible amount of safe and nutritious food that can help maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While current programs, interventions, and campaigns are placed to discuss global food security, it has always been the execution that stops that green button from being tapped and implemented.
Proactive interventions such as policy-making, conferences, and summits are becoming more inclusive due to the participation of many people worldwide despite their backgrounds, nationalities, and age. The discussion should not be the period that will end the exploration of solutions.
Food security should be on the urgent-priority agenda of all countries, but it is a wicked problem; other factors are affecting the success of food security and sustainability in every country.
The lack of education is one of the most significant factors affecting this topic. When people do not understand the concept of food security and have the critical thinking to participate and involve themselves in creating a more sustainable food solution, we hit a dead end.
The government is also an important factor here since their lack of transparency and good governance leads to failed policies, planning, and execution of projects catered to improving food security. These factors should be addressed separately but assessed together to see the bigger picture.
Call for Green Technology
Many would ask, how can green technology improve food security?
From the term itself, green technology uses “green” or Science to mitigate the adverse environmental effects of our activities and protect what is left of our world’s natural resources.
We cannot deny that all the environmental issues around us are true and hampering our way daily. But we can still do something, so we should do something.
Improving Food Security through Green Technology
It was identified that the food gap has been widening over the past years, and we must increase food production using Science and Technology.
But how can technology improve food security? Improve genetics, reduce food waste and loss, improve soil fertility, and restore degraded land.
Science, technology, and innovation remarkably produce more food by artificially creating plant varieties to improve plant traits. It also maximizes the inputs to make agriculture more effective and efficient.
Suppose we have a vast variety of plants available to the people, especially the marginalized ones, to meet the demand. In that case, we can find the demand and supply equilibrium.
Second, genetic modification of organic plant varieties due to today’s technology can be used for fortifying nutrients, developing drought-tolerant mechanisms, and herbicides, diseases, or pests resistance. We need cross-breeding to improve plant varieties and characteristics.
Some plants can only survive in one particular season and environment. Still, if they can be genetically modified using technology, they will be able to become more productive even in the harshest of environmental conditions.
Farmers, especially in far-flung places, will have more power over their work and crops through biotechnology and new seed technologies.
Third, in connection with genetic modification, we also have transgenic adaptation wherein genetic parts of a specific unrelated organism will be inserted into another – both should be unable to cross-breed through natural means.
What is excellent about transgenic modification is that it allows for improved nutrition, appearance, and taste, tolerance to stresses brought on by external factors like insects, droughts, diseases, and reduced amount of synthetic fertilizers used to grow the plant.
We need to increase plant productivity in a given area unit because we are already in the middle of losing our soil and water. There is an existing increase in water scarcity and land degradation that we cannot and should not ignore.
There are many laboratory-made plants now that were brought to life by transgenic modification like Banana Xanthomonas wilt. Bt-cotton, Bt-Maize, New Rice for Africa (NERA) rice varieties, and Maruca Vitara.
Fourth, managing soil to increase agricultural yields. Technology is very apparent at this point since plenty of innovative technologies emerged in the market as soon as the need to manage our soil was found to be a crucial step toward global food security.
All of the mentioned points above, especially the genetic ones, will not increase in numbers if soil fertility suffers.
Fertile soils have been one of the key factors in sustaining our agricultural productivity in different countries and creating food security. But what happens when our soils become toxic?
They kill our plants and, therefore, our food. The current technological advancements are mostly centered on fighting diseases and pests and increasing the number of crops, completely ignoring sustainable soil management practices.
It should always start from where the roots are since healthy soil yields healthy plants.
The use of synthetic fertilizers made us more dependent on these to produce our crops, but they reek of nitrogen which is known for its negative effects on the environment.
Through technology and science, we now have dependable biological fertilizers that are more affordable and effective.
Role of Green Technology
Finishing with the question of how can green technology improve food security, we can see how essential the role of green technology is for the betterment of our society.
It is safe to say that green technology has been helping us shape a better future for our families and the generations. Food security can be achieved if we know how to maximize what we know and turn them into applications in real life.
Suppose we always depend on the current technology damaging the environment because of its irrelevance in our society. In that case, we will never achieve the food security we are always dreaming about.
Our Role in This Campaign for Global Food Security
While it is true that green technology is a game-changer, we must not forget that it can only come to life if the people we vote for in the government care about our environment.
The legislation passed to protect our ecosystem and agriculture should reflect the sustainability practices many food security conferences have been campaigning for.
This issue of food security is global as we rely on each other, especially during crises. We aim to solve world hunger, as seen in our sustainable development goals. All other plans will be satisfied once hunger is no longer on the table.
Unfortunately, this is the most challenging goal to reach as many other factors bar us from putting food on the table of every human.
Low-quality food is also one of the most significant issues here, as although some may have access to food, the vitamins, calories, and nutrients are not enough to maintain a healthy life.
It is not their fault that what they eat lacks the needed nutrients to function every day. It should be resolved by giving people access to healthier and greener options without the need to pay additional money.
Together Standing for Sustainability
How can green technology improve food security? It needs our participation. It would be best if first-world countries help the third worlds become more sustainable in their living and agricultural practices.
Each country should have enough trained professionals who can teach what green technology is about and how it can change the world for the better.
Everyone should know through education how their small acts can create a ripple of change and thus, contribute to the ongoing efforts to solve some of the world’s wicked problems.
If people know the concept of food security, how their involvement can help them in the long run, and why we are all pushing for global food security, we can have a better place to live in.
Sadly, this is not the case as most governments prefer to have their people silenced so they can do their immoral practices.
The issue with food security is not just about producing crops and meeting the demands of the people. It is also about being proactive so that the right legislation will be passed and the execution of laws protecting food security will become stricter.
The government should invest in technology to pave the way for more people to become interested in contributing to the field, especially those from developing countries.
In a nutshell, green technology improves our global food security. Still, as humans, it is always up to us to harness and utilize our knowledge to turn concepts and ideas into applications and results.
It just needs to be noted here that every country has its needs and situation, so a framework in one does not necessarily apply to another.