UN predicts massive famine due to the pandemic. The COVID-19 gave rise to fears that hunger will become a reality for millions. Companies and governments are forced to take action to rebuild supply chains with technology.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said the COVID-19 pandemic had exacerbated already devastating systemic risks to the global food system. Today, the average annual number of disasters is more than three times higher than in the 1970s and 1980s.
Isolation and restriction of movements have affected the production, processing, wholesale, and sale of food nationally and internationally. There are required measures to ensure that national food markets and the world food market become transparent, stable, and a reliable source of supply.
Similar statements UN have announced before. They warned that people living in developing countries risked food shortages
due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Global prices for products and raw materials in 2020 broke the record
for the last three years. The index rose to 107.5 points in December last year, or 2.2%, from November when it recorded its highest level in nearly six years.
At the same time, the distribution of food remains insufficiently rational. Among all the food available to consumers in the world, 17% is wasted
. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the British environmental NGO WRAP estimate the wasted food of almost a billion tons
of products a year.
The pandemic has affected the work environment in food production and logistics. The labor shortage, which could reach up to 80,000 seasonal workers, stems from restrictive measures.
Companies are forced to send their employees to quarantine for two weeks. At the same time, many farms and transport companies do not have the opportunity to expand their staff and increase the budget enough to comply with the usual schedule of production and transportation in sufficient volumes and at the same time pay for two-week quarantine downtime. And this is a significant difficulty today.
Most food is spoiled after harvest due to incorrect storage conditions and contamination. Food waste is a global problem that has only become increasingly serious due to pandemic supply chain disruption. Technology now should be a lifesaving solution.
Transparent and manageable supply chains
require AI, Big Data
, and the Internet of Things implementation. IoT smart sensors can measure fumigant concentration, humidity, and temperature in real-time, sending data to a cloud analytics platform. It will make the distribution of food appropriate, and storage conditions perfect.
Data analytics and visualization are crucial for successful product storage and delivery. Machine learning algorithms, temperature, and precipitation forecast must predict an anomaly before products are damaged. Compared to the previous methods, IoT systems are easy to install, provide remote access to data, and guide users with suggestions that come to their smartphones. This technology can also increase the yields of small farmers, allowing them to thrive with limited resources. Using these technologies
, farmers will provide, and people will eat healthy sustainable food.
Humanity has proven more than once that it can adapt and respond to emerging challenges. Three industrial revolutions have had a significant impact on the efficiency of agriculture. Mechanization, the use of fertilizers and plant protection products, the division of production into stages, the development of genetic engineering and biotechnology lead to higher yields and more efficient use of available resources. The rise of the fourth industrial revolution
is next. The era of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence can significantly minimize the risks of agricultural management.
Optimal supply chain management can reduce food losses at all stages of production and consumption and stop food crises and hunger.