SDG 1, “No Poverty,” is ambitious to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. The global poverty rate decreased from 36% in 1990 to 10% in 2015. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the global poverty rate to spike from 8.3% in 2019 to 9.2% in 2020. It was the first increase in extreme poverty since 1998 and the highest increase since 1990. The increment delayed the fight against poverty by around three years. Developing nations are especially vulnerable to the pandemic’s effects, both during and after it has passed. These effects include a terrible social and economic catastrophe in the following years and the health crisis.
The pandemic had a significant impact on Malaysian households. Government statistics show that the epidemic caused the proportion of Malaysian households experiencing poverty to rise from a record low of 5.6 percent in 2019 to 8.4 percent in 2020. Income inequality marginally grew over the same time period. Rural poverty rates increased, and the rural population became more susceptible to financial, economic, and environmental risks. We need a sustainable solution to ease the challenges and achieve the targets in SDG 1.
In this article, we share a case study on how the BBC helps the rural population eradicate extreme poverty with our Greenhouse Solar Dryer (GHSD) and how we align our service and product with SDG 1.
SDG 1’s targets
1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable
1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
1.A Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
1.B Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions
Case study: BBC's Greenhouse Solar Dryer (GHSD) helped Sarawak's farmers and food producers to alleviate poverty
Rural poverty has been challenging for the Malaysian government to ease, especially in East Malaysia. Sarawak is a prosperous state with rich natural resources. Agriculture is one of the primary sectors in Sarawak. However, in 2022, there were still 67,000 households living below the poverty line in Sarawak. With increased exposure to climate-related risks for crop production, rural populations and farmers face more critical challenges in alleviating poverty. The farmers and the food producers in Sarawak need a self-sufficient and sustainable solution to help them have sufficient and consistent income.
A governmental unit, Client A in Kuching, Sarawak, approached BBC with the problems of converting crops into higher-value products and reducing yield wastage so that the farmers and food producers in the region have higher and more consistent income.
Extreme weather decreased crop production. Due to unpredictable weather, food was wasted because there needed to be more effective alternatives to transform yields into higher-value products effectively. Besides, Client A discovered that the farmers and food producers faced hygienic issues that turned their yield into waste. The farmers and crop producers in Kuching, Sarawak, used the traditional, conventional sun-drying method to dry their seafood products. Nonetheless, conventional sun drying methods are susceptible to unexpected downpours of rain, contamination from fungi, dust, dangerous bacteria, and animal excrement, as well as ingestion by various predators, including chickens, cats, birds, and others.
These problems affected the farmers’ and food producers’ incomes badly. They were forced to incur costly wastage and could not cover their loss because logistics and supply chain costs in Sarawak were prohibitively expensive.
BBC helped Client A with the development of the Greenhouse Solar Dryer (GHSD). GHSD is an effective drying solution that uses a glass greenhouse and an IOT system. GHSD technology insulates natural solar heat in the glass greenhouse, allowing for a secure, nutritious, and hygienic method of large-scale drying. Besides installing GHSD, BBC provided training to the client on how to use GHSD.
With the help of GHSD, Client A was able to help the farmers and crop producers in Kuching, Sarawak, reduce yield wastage and turn the crops into higher-value products. Many farmers had more stable incomes with a diverted source of income from the overproduction of crops. Besides, some food producers increased their revenue by producing higher-value and quality products that comply with food hygiene and safety standards.
GHSD has built the resilience of the poor with a sustainable, innovative solution that enables the farmers and food producers in Kuching to be self-sufficient. The result has been the achievement of the following:
Target 1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day
Target 1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance
Target 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
BBC created GHSD, intending to create a long-term positive impact on our clients and society. It is an invention based on renewable energy and effective advanced technology. In this case study, we created direct positive impacts on our clients, which aligns with SDG 1, “No Poverty.” helping the farmers and small-scale food producers to increase their incomes and alleviate poverty. Most importantly, we help them build resilience to reduce their vulnerability to social, economic, and environmental risks so they can be self-sufficient and have a higher quality of life.
Sustainable development goals (SDG 1). (2020, June 29). Retrieved from https://unric.org/en/sdg-1/
World Bank Group. (2020, October 07). Covid-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021. Retrieved from https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/10/07/covid-19-to-add-as-many-as-150-million-extreme-poor-by-2021
World Bank Group (2022, October). Poverty & Equity Brief Malaysia. Retrieved from https://databankfiles.worldbank.org/data/download/poverty/987B9C90-CB9F-4D93-AE8C-750588BF00QA/current/Global_POVEQ_MYS.pdf
Boon, P. (2022, July 20). Soon Koh: 67,000 households in Sarawak Live Below Poverty Level. Retrieved from https://www.theborneopost.com/2022/07/21/soon-koh-67000-households-in-sarawak-live-below-poverty-level/