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4-H Canada and Bayer CropScience have partnered to hold the global 4-H Youth Ag-Summit in Calgary, Albert, Canada from August 19-25th. Young adults (ages 18-25) from 24 countries worldwide will “come to the table,” share their ideas and develop a plan of action on how to best feed the hungry planet.

Throughout the week-long event called “Feeding a Hungry Planet,” 120 young agricultural delegates, 25 global mentors, and numerous volunteers will share and explore ideas with peers, business leaders, elected officials, and scientists about the global agricultural challenge.

The United Nations declared in November 2011 that the global population had surpassed 7 billion people. By 2050, it is estimated that another 2 billion people will need to be provided with adequate food and nutrition. The 4-H Youth Ag-Summit is built on the idea that no one person, company or nation holds the answer, but through discussion and innovation, these young minds can find and act upon groundbreaking agricultural solutions to feed our growing world.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 870 million people, one in every eight people, were suffering from prolonged starvation in 2010-2012. This means they do not have enough food to lead healthy and active lives. Nearly all, or 852 million, live in developing countries. Hunger and malnutrition are the number one threat to global health, bigger than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

Solving hunger lays the foundation for progress in other areas of development, such as health and education. Well-nourished women have healthier, heavier babies who have stronger immune systems. A healthy, nourished child is more likely to attend school and perform to their full potential.

Chronic hunger was reduced in the 1980s and 1990s, but progress leveled off between 2000 and 2010. Despite the scale of the issue, hunger is an entirely solvable problem. By combining today’s knowledge, tools, and policies, the world has the capabilities to ensure that no one goes to bed hungry. The young minds at the Feeding the Hungry Planet-4-H Youth Ag Summit are working to do just that.

– Ali Warlich

Sources: Feeding a Hungry Planet, World Food Programme
Photo: UK Ag News