Author: Leo Xl Y. Fuentes, Jr.
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
The revolutionary advance in technology for the past century brought us to an age where it is possible in laboratories to print human organs using 3D printers, to connect a human head to a different but compatible human body, or even to shoot a luxury car to outer space.
Yet we failed to address, fundamental need for mankind-food. According to an infographic made by Misereor in 2015, citing the International Assessment of Agricultural knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, IAASTD (2008): Agriculture at a Crossroads; FAO (2015) 795 million people were hungry, 2 billion people were malnourished in a population of 7.7 billion people. Malthusian theorists will attribute this reality to population. However, the food produced are actually enough to feed 12 billion people.
Also on the same resource, only 43% of the total grains produced worldwide were consumed by humans while 57% are used in animal feeds, agro-fuel, and manufacturing plastic. About 1/3 of the food worldwide are put into waste annually. Indeed, the problem is not about production, but rather to the equitable distribution of resources, in other words people’s access to food.
In the Philippines, the 2015 World Food Programme (WFP) survey among 1,600 households in 16 poorest provinces that Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) identified covers the provinces of Apayao, Masbate, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Zamboange del Norte, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, Saranggani, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and Sulu.
Here are the reasons cited which caused food insecurity: 1. inadequate income (37%), 2. Lack of Regular Job (18%), 3. Drought in their area (12%), 4. Household Head has no job (11%), 5. Strong Rains (10%) and other reasons (2%).
Among these communities, it was evident that food insecurity was a result of lack of income and regular jobs. For example in the provinces of Sulu with 58%, North Cotabato with 50% and in Bukidnon with 47% noted that hunger was caused by lack of income.