The latest FAO estimates indicate that although the trend in global hunger reduction continues, about one in every nine people in the world still has insufficient food for an active and healthy life. There are a variety of causes that contribute to food insecurity, including population growth and desertification. Programs including the United Nations’ World Food Program are dedicated to addressing the global food security crisis by improving accessibility, availability, and usability of resources. But often, these programs address the symptoms of the problem, rather than the primary causes.
In resource-constrained contexts, many individuals are subsistence farmers, who highly rely on the rains for irrigating their crops. Short rains are beneficial while long rainy seasons can cause harm to cash crops. Apart from that, the dry spells of the year lead to seasonal variation in food production and ultimately, unemployment and food scarcity. These water problems, coupled with pest problems and small farming areas limit the productivity of smallholder farmers.