In a world where there is enough food for everyone, overcoming hunger still remains one of the world’s biggest challenges.
One in eight people globally live without enough food to lead healthy productive lives. Another three million children die each year from malnutrition. In many of the world’s most vulnerable communities, organisations like CARE are working hard to ensure that no-one need die from hunger.
In many developing countries most food comes from subsistence farming, where nearly all crops or livestock raised are used to feed farmers and their families. This means little, if any, food to sell at market.
These farming families often lack the quality tools, seeds and reliable markets to make the most of their crops. Often, families have to spend large amounts of their income on food, meaning less money to put their children through school, or for supplies and medicines that improve health.
Helping poor farming families generate the means to grow more crops and get them to market can be a powerful way of helping communities overcome poverty. In remote and rural areas, better farming practices means regular food supplies, better nutrition and higher incomes with crops that can fetch better prices at market.
Gender and food production
Empowering women helps to feed whole families.
On average, women experience chronic hunger more often than men. For mothers, this can often lead to greater poverty and malnutrition. Women produce over half of the world’s food, but when food shortages occur they are often first to go hungry in order to feed their families and because they have less access to land, training and decision-making than men do. These challenges are increased in cases of food and economic crises, and by climate change.
Women play a key role in food production and form a large proportion of the agricultural work force globally. Yet equipped with the right resources, more women can provide for the food security of their families and in doing so, avoid the debilitating health effects of malnutrition. Whether it be through opportunities for education and achieving literacy, supporting community-led savings groups, or training on how best to protect their rights, where women gain greater economic independence they provide for food needs that help lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Learn more by reading the case study below and introducing some of the individuals CARE works with to your class.