Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Climate Change and Food Shortage

The climate change is not only disturbing the environment but also creating some serious problems, among which food security is an important one. The United Nations has highlighted that climate change is challenging the global drive to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 and the world’s poorest - many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists - are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters. At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way that we can ensure the wellbeing of ecosystems and rural populations, and at the same time, reduce emissions.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that is seriously influenced by food shortage. The agricultural sector in Afghanistan has not been able to fulfill the requirements of the people as it has not been given proper attention by the concerned authorities. Mostly, this sector is highly dependent on the individual farmers and landowners. Most of them grow as much as they require themselves.
Therefore a large number of people, each year, have to look at the other countries for help in order to have food to eat. The international organizations in this regard have been fulfilling the food requirements of the country to a large extent, thus making the burden of the government much lighter. But this sort of help can never be permanent and it has already been facing difficulties as the donor countries that have been sponsoring such programs have decreased their contributions to a certain extent.
The shortage of food is no doubt the result of poor production on the part of the agricultural sector and the drought that has been persistently hitting the country because of low rainfall and the trouble is doubled as there has not been an active irrigation system to bring the country's water supply in use by the agricultural sector.
Food insecurity means that there is no surety that all the people are going to have food requirements. And unfortunately, the alternatives are not ready as well. The security concerns and the hardships during the cold weather make the supply of the food from other parts of the country to the regions of the starvation a Herculean task. Another alternate available for the government is to fulfill the deficiencies through government reserves and private sector imports. However, the recovery from these sources has not been up to the mark. And this year's expected food shortage would not be recovered from the mentioned sources.
The food shortage itself is a sure problem, but there are many other problems that are directly linked with the hunger that results from such shortages. Many social evils will find their way in the society and will further deteriorate the country's socio-political scenario. More people would be involved in crimes in order to feed themselves and their families. Two major problems in the country have been greatly strengthened by the continuous hunger and poverty. The first one that has been threatening the whole world is the growing terrorism in the region. The people suffering from hunger and poverty are very much likely to become part of terrorist organizations that are ready to provide them their living.
Who does not know that the suicide bombers are easily available for some hundred dollars throughout the region? The second problem that has made the country much notorious like terrorism is the production and trafficking of narcotics. Afghanistan is considered one of the leading countries in this regard. And now the phenomenon has become a part of organized crime in the country, with the involvement of national and international mafia. The poor and hungry people of the country are ready to become a part of this menace instead of suffering because of intense deprivation. They either become a part of its production or trafficking as they are paid handsomely in this regard. Further, the demand of the narcotics also makes many people think of using their lands for poppy cultivation rather than deciding to grow the crops that can yield food for the people.
It is really important for Afghanistan to stand on its own and try to fulfill most of its food demands itself. The country can be self-reliant in so many areas; all we need is to throw away the begging bowl and use our own resources appropriately and, no doubt, honestly.
Had we been doing that for the last few years, we would now be standing on our own. But unfortunately, the self-centered people among us who have just been filling their own pockets have made our people suffer to a great extent. They do not feel even for those people who do not have a single meal to eat throughout a week. Their children die of hunger and unknown diseases and their conscience saunter in the dark alleys of guilt, frustration and revenge.