ICAS,

Technology That Can Tackle World Hunger

It is heartbreaking to know that 200 million children go to bed hungry while the rest of the world wastes 1.3 billion tons of food, every year. The change in global and regional climate is one of the main reasons contributing to the fact that world hunger has still not been curbed. The rise in temperature in places like Africa is the reason behind the life-wrenching drought that has made farming impossible. This has led to extreme malnutrition and poverty among the citizens.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is a nonprofit movement by the United Nation constituted for assuring food security and addressing hunger.  WFP along with organizations like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already begun the war against hunger. And, what is their most powerful weapon right now? Technology!

Farmers from small remote villages produce more than 70% of world’s food, of which 40% gets spoiled before even reaching the consumer market. These farmers need technology, expertise and understanding to avert their produce from getting damaged before it can be consumed. Developers and programmers knew that the key was to prepare them for accessing global network and adopt cold chain technology with efficient storage mechanisms. This was made possible by services like ‘WeFarm’ that connects farmers all around the world to discuss risks and find solutions to their crop- related issues. Tapping the concepts of cultivation and preservation known to farmers from different lands was indeed a clever move!

Technology is changing the traditional food manufacturing and distribution arena at an unbelievable pace. Mobile Applications like ‘11th Hour’ collects the leftover food from restaurants while a similar application called ‘FoodCloud’ is designed to gather surplus food from super markets and retail stores and donates it to people in need. Intelligent organizations are also welcoming innovations like the usage of edible packaging to reduce wastage.

The WFP has been constantly preparing the villages of Africa to be ready to face natural calamities like drought, by using their advanced technologies fueled by Big Data Analytics. Using the satellite imageries of their lands from a study known as SATIDA, they created a mobile app that suggests potential steps to contain the situations where there could be a scarcity of food followed by malnutrition among the livestock. The farmers are also learning about different kind of crops that can be grown in such extreme climatic conditions that can help sustain appropriate nourishment in the affected area. Various universities abroad under the Manipal ICAS program encourages students to innovate and create applications like this which would help the world stay healthy.

No matter how much the economy grows in developed countries, poor countries always suffer massive food scarcity every year. To put this under control, it was absolutely necessary to innovate and develop intelligent solutions like WeFarm which equipped more than 26,000 people just in Kenya. Many study abroad programs help students do researches on this subject to eventually help the human race persist on our planet.  IoT combined with advanced software solutions is the only ray of hope here which is proven to be very efficient and powerful.

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