IBM Z Global Student Hub - Group home

Three ways to utilize technology to achieve Zero hunger and no poverty

By Tiiso Senosha posted Wed October 13, 2021 06:16 PM


More than 780 million people live in extreme poverty. It makes them more susceptible to hunger and starvation. Poverty, as though it might seem, is not only a result of low income but many other factors. A lack of nutritious food, corruption in government, and poor or no education, are some of the detriments to satiety. This article focuses on how technology manages and solves the problems mentioned above.

 Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

Shortage of food supply

Inadequate supply of food is a result of natural disasters, poor food production methods, political conflicts, and many other factors not mentioned here. Farmers leverage technology to produce higher yields of good-quality crops by using data from sensors, drones, and robots. These devices are components in a farming system that uses precision agriculture. Precision agriculture is an integrated crop management system that matches the kind and amounts of input with the actual crop needs for small areas within a farm field.

The soil, landscape, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation methods, and other variables affect the number of crops a farm can produce. Precision agriculture uses a combination of tools to monitor all the variables that affect the quality and quantity of crops.

Pests and insects tend to feast on farm crops quietly but steadily without notice. With this crop management system, the farmer quickly detects their presence on the farm and employs control measures. The manager uses the data collected from drones and sensors to analyze how the crops respond to fertilizers, different weather patterns, and the amount of water used.

The data collected from the sensors and GIS provide farm managers with insights. The technological devices used in this process help the farmer make informed decisions and improve crop yields without polluting the environment.  Information collected is used over a long period to understand how and why the harvest differs.

Government corruption

The government controls the distribution of funds, who can invest in a country, and which areas get better services. It is difficult to hold the government accountable without a record of its budget and expenditure. Although corruption is not a direct cause of poverty, it slows down economic growth. Economic stagnation results in an increase in the cost of living and unemployment. Corruption results in income inequality which affects the poor more than anyone else. 

The introduction of blockchain technology has proven to make fairer decisions compared to conventional methods. Blockchain uses blocks to form a ledger. A consensus algorithm (PoW or PoS) is used by a miner on the node for computation resources to prove the existence (solve a nonce) of a transaction. An advantage is that the transactions made on a blockchain are immutable. There are situations where the voting systems are rigged to favor one candidate over another.

Think of a situation where the voting is on the blockchain network. We will all be able to see who the outright winner is. The same goes for the awarding of government tenders, paying salaries of government officials, proving the ownership of assets, and more. Money transaction records should be available on the blockchain for increased transparency and accountability. That is one way to reduce the level of corruption in the government and increase trust in the government. It makes a country attractive to investors and grows the economy. The money will help develop a country's infrastructure, educate the citizens, and fund projects to help end poverty and hunger.

No education

Education is a vital part of personal development. Methods of education differ, but literacy is, regardless, key to the stability of the country. It is necessary to have high-quality schools with good resources to make learning fun and enjoyable.

"Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another." – Nelson Mandela

It has been proven throughout the years that education is one way to end poverty.  The way developed countries use technology is different from how developing countries use it. It is easy to deliver education virtually when the recipients have access to developed technology infrastructure. Unfortunately, in developing countries, there are rural areas that do not have internet access.

There are solutions like the MobiStation, developed by UNICEF Uganda. The solution works in areas where there is no electricity and internet access. It needs to be adopted in third-world countries to improve teaching. Because of the nature of less privileged communities, the older generation also needs to be taught how to support their children better.

MobiStation – often referred to as a digital ‘school in a box’ – is a multimedia tool that supports education in and out of schools to improve access to quality education. Built into a portable suitcase, the tool is equipped with a solar-powered laptop, a low-power projector and an audio system.” Source:  UNICEF

The issue of poverty, hunger, and education needs to be solved simultaneously. You cannot learn when you are hungry, and you need education to improve the condition of your life.  Technology enables us to use more efficient farming methods to preserve the land and produce higher crop yields. It improves the way we learn and influence the educational curriculum. We need it to help us eradicate poverty and hunger. You have the power to change the lives of people around you for the better.