Out of every eight people, one of them will go to sleep hungry tonight. Ending world hunger takes many different forms, including donations, volunteering and education. Those who suffer from chronic hunger are more likely to be affected when famine hits or when they fall ill. To alleviate chronic hunger and food insecurity, it is necessary to come up with sustainable solutions that empower small farmers, women and locals.

1. Target Food Producers
Focusing on small farming communities has been the focus of Heifer International for nearly 70 years. This organizations helps small farmers increase productivity in order to create a surplus that can be sold or provided to hungry people. Heifer was established on the philosophy, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

2. Connect Farmers to Markets
In Gulu, Uganda, small farmers can bring their corn to a warehouse built by the World Food Program, have it cleaned, dried and stored, and the farmers can then sell their cleaned corn for $400 a ton. Normally, these farmers would only be able to sell their corn for $100 a ton. The Purchase for Progress program links the WFP’s demand for food commodities with the expertise of partners to support smallholder farmers. By providing a market for smallholder farmers, Purchase for Progress has helped farmers increase crop quality and sales.

3. Empower Women
Women often have unequal access to resources, education and income, making them more susceptible to hunger than men. However, when resources are given to women, they use it more effectively than their male counterparts, ensuring that food gets to their children. In many countries, women make up the majority of farm laborers – in Africa, eight out of 10 people engaged in farming are women and in Asia, six out of 10 are women.

These three solutions to ending world hunger are part of a larger solution: improving production and access to food for the hungry. By helping smallholder farmers, connecting local farmers to each other and to the marketplace, and empowering women, progress can be made in terms of ending world hunger.

– Haley Sklut

Sources: CNN, Freedom From Hunger, Huffington Post
Photo: UN