Earlier this week, Oxfam, one of the world’s largest aid agencies, released a report entitled “Growing a Better Future”. The in-depth report, which can be read here, describes the dire conditions of the global food market. It discusses rising food prices as a nearly insurmountable problem unless major global actions is taken. The report also cites the non-sustainable agricultural business models which lead to gross disparities between developed nations and developing nations.
Industrialized nations have huge amounts of excess food. People are obese and often up to 25% of food is wasted. The “Western” diet consists of lots of meat and animal products, all or which are an incredibly inefficient use of many resources such as land, water and grain. Meanwhile, developing nations are starving. In Niger, nearly half of all children are malnourished and 65% of people survive on less than $1.25 per day.
The report does put forth solutions though. Dismantling export restrictions, creating food reserves, major food aid reformations are just a few of the suggested resolutions. Many of them are great ideas, however there is another thing you can do, besides lobbying your local politicians to take actions. You can volunteer on the ground in a nation which is suffering through food crisis. A number of our partner organizations run programs which focus on improving farming techniques, making relevant technology accessible and educating farmers on the business aspects of their trade.
Volunteers for Peace has dozens of programs utilizing many different methods to try to alleviate food crises in developing, Muslim majority countries. They have an upcoming agricultural education project in Indonesia, opportunities for manual labor on farms in Turkey and even a program to make olive oil in Turkey.
Winrock International is an organization which specializes in agricultural assistance. They operate programs to increase crop yield, decrease cost, implement sustainable business models, make farms more ecologically sound and generally improve communities in any way possible through the reorganization of food systems.
Other organizations in our directory which have programs to help end food shortages in Muslim majority countries are ACDI/VOCA, BRAC, CUSO-VSO, Land O’ Lakes International Development and Volunteer Morocco. All of these offer unique opportunities to fight hunger, while also serving as one of America’s Unofficial Ambassadors. Look into them all and consider applying for the Mosaic Scholarship to get funded for your trip abroad. The global food crisis is a very real problem looming in all of our futures, do something to stop it while also experiencing cultural immersion in the Muslim world.