This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse.
By Ertharin Cousin
Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.
Ending hunger and chronic malnutrition remains within our grasp. However, we must recognize and address, as the UN recently reported, there is a global reversal of a decades long downward trend in the number of hungry people. In 2016, the number of hungry people increased to 815 million – a rise of 38 million from 2015. These seemingly daunting numbers represent numerous complex yet surmountable challenges, not the least of which is increased conflict. Achieving a hunger free world begins with peace and stability.
The ingredients required for ending hunger also include-sustainable and durable food systems (from fork to farm), elimination of malnutrition (particularly stunting), elimination of food waste, and universal access to nutritious food all year long-all quite feasible. What we now require is indefatigable world-wide public devotion directed by unrelenting global leadership.
This week one such leader fittingly receives the highest honor in food security, the World Food Prize- African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina. As the son and grandson of farmers, an agriculture economist by training, with significant government and institutional agriculture leadership experience, Akin has long recognized and supported sustainable agriculture and nutrition as key ingredients in the recipe for developing strong healthy economies. Conversely, he understands the linkages between hunger and poverty to extremism and conflict. His dedication to solving these challenges includes supporting partnerships with the private sector.