With climate change affecting growing cycles around the globe, world hunger continues to affect millions across the globe. In fact, World Vision estimates that 690 million people around the world go to bed hungry on a regular basis. This is a problem with complicated causes, but technology could provide a solution. Even while the numbers of people suffering from hunger increases, exciting emerging technologies provide a beacon of hope. Here are five promising technologies we have today that can end world hunger:
1. Drought Predicting Smartphones
One of the biggest challenges contributing to world hunger is drought. When droughts occur, people struggle to put food on the table. Columbia University is developing a program that uses data from satellites and phones from people on the ground to predict droughts. By knowing when a drought might occur, local farmers and government professionals can take actions to prepare for the potential shortage ahead of time. Government leaders can also use the data to communicate with local farmers and families to help them plan ahead for the potential drought. With the right planning, these individual can ensure they have food on hand to get through a lean time.
If you love posting pictures of your own food on social media, consider participating in Feedie. Feedie lets you share pictures you took of your food from a participating restaurant. Through the Lunchbox Fund, the restaurant will donate a meal to a needy child as a “thank you” for sharing the image. No red tape, just a fast and easy way to share a meal with a kid who needs it.
H2Grow creates the ability to grow food in impossible places. This innovation is an adaptable, affordable hydroponic solution that lets people grow fresh produce without quality soil. Even in arid and dry areas, H2Grow allows people to grow their own food. This innovative technology also helps crops grow more quickly and using 90% less water and 75% less space than traditional growing methods.
4. Hyperspectral Imaging
Hyperspectral imaging is a technology used by NASA for decades to analyze the chemical makeup of substances. Today, it has a new use. Through hyperspectral imaging, food producers can perform tests on their food products with less waste and greater accuracy. This software uses simple photographs of food to test ripeness and contamination, without damaging the food in the way that traditional testing requires. The technology can also help producers decide how to sort, ripen, and distribute food based on the individual chemical composition of that food. Since about 1/3 of all food is wasted, the ability to safely test food without waste will go far to address the world hunger question and cut back on that waste.
One of the best ways to lessen world hunger is to increase the production of small-scale farming operations. Yet small farmers often lack the technology to improve their productivity without driving up costs. FarmBeats, a project from Microsoft, is working on this problem.
FarmBeats uses machine learning and TV White Space to connect sensors on small farms to drones. This allows the sensors to collect data about water, soil nutrients, and more, then transform that data into actionable steps the farmer can take to increase yields and eliminate waste.
Technology is bringing some exciting changes to questions of how to feed the world, but more needs to be done. Governments need to cut the red tape and fast-track these technologies that can end world hunger, and put in place the supports they need, so that the most impoverished nations can get the help they so desperately need. By setting aside politics and greed, aka, making progress toward their own true happiness, we can take huge steps toward keeping people fed and putting an end to the serious problem of world hunger.