This World Health Day, learn how the agriculture industry keeps the world’s population healthy.
In honor of this year’s World Health Day – April 7, 2018 – we’re taking a moment to consider how agriculture and agricultural research impact the world’s overall health. After all, access to nutrient-dense foods is critical when it comes to helping the population stay healthy, and for many in impoverished nations, working in agriculture can help ensure food security and provide economic stability.
Tilapia Helps Developing Countries
Tilapia farming is an excellent way to contribute to the economic health of developing countries. That’s because tilapia aquaculture has little to no impact on the immediate environment when farmed sustainably. The fish is also available year round in warmer climates, making it a renewable and dependable source of food in many places.
Tilapia also offers several health benefits. It’s a great source of protein and is high in vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble vitamin that’s important for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and nerve ending protection.
As a result, Regal Springs, the world’s largest vertically integrated white fish farm, teaches people in countries like Mexico, Honduras, and Indonesia to fish and manage tilapia farms. In addition to employing thousands of people in the underdeveloped communities in which it operates, Regal Springs’ presence helps guarantee residents have access to fresh, high-quality tilapia.
Fish farming is also an important industry in the United States and the Florida economy directly benefits from the state’s aquaculture industry.
Golden Rice Enhances Health Benefits of Staple Food
With the goal of improving human health, Golden Rice was engineered from standard rice by Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer in the 1990s.
According to The Embryo Project Encyclopedia, Golden Rice includes an engineered multi-gene biochemical pathway in its genome. This pathway produces beta-carotene, a molecule that becomes vitamin A when metabolized by humans. This is critical in reducing the instances of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in developing countries and gives the rice its golden color. Not only can VAD result in blindness in children, it can also cause death as it severely affects the immune systems.
Currently, field trials on Golden Rice are underway in the Philippines. Experts say that eventually, Golden Rice will be available to farmers in several other countries such as India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
Raising Livestock Provides Income, Stability
Heifer International is a global nonprofit organization working with communities to end world hunger and poverty and care for the planet. They aim to teach people across Africa, Asia, and North and South America how to use environmentally friendly farming methods and operate successful businesses.
Since it was established in 1944, Heifer International has worked in 125 countries and helped 32 million families make their way out of hunger and poverty. The organization’s primary focus area is combining the provision of livestock with training in animal husbandry, natural resource management, leadership skills, and gender equity, which strengthens the social, economic, and ecological fabric of communities. The organization also connects farmers with viable markets, helping ensure they contribute to and benefit from agricultural value chains.