In April, David Beasley, head of the UN World Food Program warned that 30 million people could die of starvation if the UN agency didn't receive critical funding needed to feed the world’s most vulnerable during the global pandemic.
After winning the Nobel Peace Prize in November 2020, Beasley said that on our current path “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.”
COVID-19 lockdowns that were instituted all over the world this year created tremendous hardship in many wealthy countries. The effects are amplified in poorer countries where hunger cases are growing at an alarming rate.
Economic shutdowns brought on by COVID-19 have put a tremendous amount of stress on global food distribution systems. For example, when food processing plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of product disappears from the supply chain. Tyson Chairman John Tyson, has said that "the food supply chain is breaking."
Now use your Economics 101 supply/demand charts. As supply goes down, price rises rapidly all over the planet. This hurts the people at the bottom of the economic food chain the most.
Plus, the loss of income from lockdowns and curfews has been devastating. For example, the International Labour Organization estimates that in India about 400 million workers in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the pandemic. The United Nations Development Programme has said that COVID-19 could wipe out half of all jobs across Africa. This is frightening.
Candidly, we thought about throwing in the towel this year. We aren't making any money doing this, helping is hard and our impact is small in the big scheme of things. This makes it incredibly difficult to want to persist.
But these articles are why we resolve to carry forward. We know we are a small drop in the ocean, but our hope is that our ripple will reach others. And we are going to scale this operation so we can do much more.
We are going to add products that you need like soil, starting supplies, etc. We are going to add flowers, potatoes and garlic because people buy them. Most critically, we are going to lead the charge with our biofortified corn seeds that have a complete protein profile on par with eggs and milk.
Nothing happens if there is no business. Please be patient while we retool. We need you to keep us in the game. Stay tuned.