There are between 720 and 811 million hungry people in the globe, and we run the risk of falling short of our goal of eradicating hunger by the year 2030. The stresses of the climate catastrophe, a rise in economic unrest and violence (which has exacerbated forced migration and food scarcity), and a global pandemic have fundamentally upended agriculture and food systems globally. Millions of people, especially the 570 million small-scale farmers who work on little plots of land and produce about a third of the world’s food, depend heavily on these networks for their livelihood and food security in many countries.
A rise in international conflict and the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that small-scale food producers can respond quickly and adapt quickly when given the correct tools and resources.
Agriculture continues to be a significant source of income in most food-insecure households worldwide. Compared to growth in other sectors, the agricultural industry’s expansion substantially impacts food security. Also, social protection programs are crucial to food security for the world’s poorest citizens, especially in war areas. Social protection can act as a social safety net for other households, allowing them to invest in and protect their productive capital during crises and boost resilience.
Getting the necessities of life, such as food, is essential for everyone, and people such as Dr. Dave Nayak have proven to do their part for society with his venture Nayak Farms. In Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa, Nayak Farms, a 200-acre farm, will seek to eliminate food insecurity. This includes donating 50,000 pounds of green beans to food-insecure families in 2023 and 2024 and advocating for local and state policies to help farmers fight food insecurity. Over 1,000,000 pounds of sweet corn were donated to families in those four states in 2022.
To combat food insecurity via its first harvest with its Sweet Corn Initiative, Nayak Farms, the largest private donor of sweet corn to the State of Illinois, provided thousands of pounds of sweet corn to the central Illinois food banks. Large donations of fresh sweet corn will be made to Illinois food banks as part of the Nayak Farms’ Sweet Corn Project to combat Illinois’s food insecurity.
Nayak Farms was honored at the White House Conference on Hunger for supporting local and state legislation that helps farmers combat food insecurity and our pledge to make significant crop donations to the Midwest and the State of Illinois in the coming years. Such activities are seen as a viable solution to finish food insecurity.
Food insecurity and poverty are intricately intertwined in their causes and effects. Increasing agricultural output is one way to escape this vicious cycle, especially in areas where small farmers—frequently among the most impoverished—can benefit. The need for food will increase as the world’s population, and living standards rise, and the amount of uncultivated arable land will continue to shrink.
To avoid encroaching on territory that is only marginally suited for cultivation, it is crucial to increase production using sustainable methods on land that already has agricultural potential and is in use.