Preventing Future World Hunger
We currently have enough food to feed the people of our world. But what will our situation be in the 21st Century? Can we produce enough food and conserve natural resources to sustain the population? The world's population was 5.3 billion in 1990 and is expected to increase to 12.4 billion by the year 2050, thus increasing demands for food groups by 55% for grains, 71% for soybean, 59% for meat and 56% for fish. Eighty four percent of this growth will come from developing countries. Previous generations worked hard to provide us with the best things possible. Today our society destroys and wastes natural resources, the very thing that I believe are needed to sustain future generations. In North America alone, we waste tremendous amounts of food every day. Forty thousand children die each day from hunger. Worldwide, the number of mouths to feed increases by 90 million. The food versus population issue appears to be a simple matter of producing enough food to supply the population. Is it really that simple? I believe the challenge will be to reduce poverty, balance food supply and demand, and ensure adequate quantities of food.
Poverty may be more cause to blame for hunger than food supply. In no country in the world do rich people go hungry, which leads one to believe that it is more a political issue than a physical one. Governments suffer from the inability to get food to their citizens. In North and South Korea, the North has half as many people as the South, and double the amount of land. Yet, South Korea seems to be more prosperous. In countries where starvation exists, and you can expect to find that country politically unstable. In the case of Africa agricultural technologies exist but have not been adopted. They seem to be more pro-urban and anti-rural in their economic policies. National policy invests little in rural roads, communications or schools, by giving their monies to more urban projects. This gives the farmer no incentive to increase production or implement new technologies. Equally responsible are government policies that hamper the approval of new technologies. There is lots of technology on the shelf that is not being used. Farmers also need to know that they can sell their products to an expanded market. Countries need to reduce their trade barriers. Since land is not distributed evenly on a global basis, countries with less land will need to import food to feed their people. In my research I found several articles stating that many countries would much prefer exports to imports. They say that food aid actually hurts them more than it helps them, because imports depress the food prices. A world with fewer trade barriers gives farmers the assurance of knowing that they can sell their crops globally. Most important for developing countries will be the stimulation of income.
Population growth in developing countries will account for virtually all the...