ONE of the winners of a major new international peace award urged global leaders to invest more heavily in aquaculture to address the rapidly growing challenge of hunger in developing countries, the Washington Times reported on Friday.
In accepting the first ever Sunhak Peace Prize, Indian fisheries scientist Dr M Vijay Gupta told a prestigious gathering of leaders in Seoul, South Korea, that hunger already affects 800 million people worldwide and that number could rise sharply absent significant improvements in food production in developing countries
‘It has been estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations that to meet the demand of increasing population by 2050, we need to increase food production by 60 per cent globally, [and] by 90 per cent to 100 per cent in developing countries,’ he told the audience.
‘The enormity of the situation can be further gauged from the fact that more food has to be produced in the next 35 years than what was produced in the last 8,000 years,’ he said.
Gupta was selected as one of two winners of the 2015 prize, worth $1 million, for creating an aquaculture system tailored to poor, rural populations in Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
His methods have allowed communities to feed themselves and empower women by teaching them how to raise and harvest the fish.
He told the award ceremony audience that expanding the aquaculture movement — known in global circles as the Blue Revolution — was essential to meeting the future food demands of the world.
‘Blue Revolution is in its early stages, and much more needs to be done if it is to contribute to food and nutritional security and improve the livelihoods of millions of rural poor.
‘For this to happen, countries need appropriate strategies, development plans and allocation of adequate resources,’ said Gupta.
The Sunhak Peace Prize was unveiled earlier this year to recognise and empower innovations in human development, conflict resolution and ecological conservation.
It was proposed by Dr Hak Ja Han Moon several months after the death in 2012 of her husband, Dr Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and the Washington Times.