Konstantin Markov “What are the main causes for food insecurity today? Outline and evaluate 2 or 3 possible solutions to food insecurity problems. ” From ancient times to today’s globalized world every day we need food to survive. That is why food standards and security are very important issues for living normal healthy life. In some areas like Africa there is food and water shortage. The lack of water and productive land cause poor life standards of people living in these areas and they are unable to provide food for themselves. That process is called food insecurity.
It is reason for diseases and eventually sudden death for hundreds of thousands of people. Many policies have been made from the most developed countries in order to help to reduce world’s hunger and improve life standards in areas like Africa where that is a major problem. Main reason for the poor status of people living there is caused by food and economic crises. According to FAO (2007, p. 19) a record amount of forty-seven countries have faced food crises which require aid from other countries. In addition from 1993 to 2000 the number of countries facing food hunger annually has significantly increased from 15 to 25.
Over the last 20 years the amount of people has grown with almost 20 percent or 80 million but has decreased compared to the percentage of overall population. The high price of food affected almost 923 million chronically hungry people in 2007 as can be seen in the graph below. In 2008 it is likely the amount of these people to increase even more because the price of cereal and crops is expected to rise. The higher rates of undernourishment are mostly seen in countries with structural shortage where the levels of incomes are undersized.
The percentage about food imports of low-income food deficit countries or LIFDCs has doubled for a year if we look at the statistics provided for the twelve-month period between 2007 and 2008. If we scrutinize numbers, the total amount would reach US$169 billion. Unfortunately the negative impact of high food prices is mostly felt by poorer and most vulnerable people like these in Africa. The most indicative fact for the unfavourable situation is contrasted because twenty-seven from the forty-seven countries in food crises worldwide were based there.
However, policies and agreements in order to cut world’s hunger in half in the affected countries have been made by organizations such as the United Nations established by the most developed countries like the U. S. , France and the U. K. They have begun with diagnosing the population mainly in Africa because there are the most damaged countries. In addition the analysis shows that environment hunger reduction should be created using poverty avoiding strategies and different approach for every sector of one country’s economy. According to Sanchez (2005, p. 57) multisectoral method should be used for hunger reduction in Africa and a minimum of ten percent of the national economy budget should be invested in nutrition, agriculture, infrastructure and education. He also recommends the investments in national research to be doubled which would make them almost 2% of agricultural GDP looking at 2010. It is very important to move from political treaty to real action because several commitments such as the World Food Summits of 1996 and 2001 have been made and the effects are not significant.
Distinctive mark for that is the large percentage of underweight children which is above 40. It is highest in the Eastern parts of Africa. Only focused and unprecedented efforts could change conditions for living in these damaged parts of the world. The Hunger Task Force was established in October 2002 for preparing the best strategies in order to reduce the number of hungry people in half by 2015. All this was possible after the previously mentioned analyses and could happen if governments, agencies and people from developed societies as a hole have the will to help.
Growing more food with less water is another major possible solution of food crises in influenced areas like Africa where water is in total shortage. Today’s technologies can make this happen by more efficient use of water in farms. Postel (2001, p. 2) has shown researches according to which drip irrigation has almost eliminated waste of water and reduced its usage by 30 to 70 percent. That could happen by delivering water straight to the plants with plastic tubes. This could also increase crop yield by 20 to 90 percent.
Impressive recompense could be done by using sprinklers which deliver the water in a way that can be almost fully absorbed. Reusing the water is a typical smart way to save money. According to Martindale (2001, p. 55) that could happen by recycling the wastewater. An example that this is possible is Israel which reuse 30 percent of its agricultural water and is expected to higher this index to 80 by the year of 2025. Despite these facts the high cost of these technologies has always been a permanent barrier for popularizing it.
In my opinion government policies which encourage farmers with partially finance should be widely spread. In that way the new, more efficient technologies would spread in short period of time and the production of food would soon increase. Therefore necessity for food of more people would be contended. In Africa for example there is lack of soil nutrients and water management. There is also malnutrition which is the biggest risk factor for illnesses. The deaths from diseases like lower respiratory infection, malaria and measles are much more amongst underweight kids.
Factors bound up with low hygienic conditions are reasons for the increasing number of ill, both in children and adults. According to Sanchez (2005, p. 442) in Africa: …farmers generate the lowest food output per hectare of any major region in the world, and its farm household account for most of the continent’s hungry population… Fertilizers are almost unused because of their high prices. There is also crisis of soil health nutrient mining and in the ability of microorganisms to recycle nutrients and the soil’s water holding capacity. These are one of the main the problems which cause hunger in Africa.
However, there is a major solution called green revolution. That is tested and proven approach because it has been used in Asia. Green revolution consists of producing enough food, better sanitation, education, health care, hygiene and more nutritional practices. Sanchez (2005, p. 443) says that in order of prevalence hunger in Africa green revolution should happen. That is simply allowing government policies, fertilizers and irrigation, better marketing, infrastructure, national research, institutions and powerful agricultural universities.
Also soil fertility should be replaced and low-cost water harvesting techniques should be used in order to raise food production. Agricultural investments are main point in the developed approach and are highly-recommended helping to achieve the needed changes. The same like in Asia can be done in Africa if we want to improve the living conditions in the world and avoid millions of people to suffer from hunger and diseases. Educational programs could be offered for the managerial personnel of the undeveloped countries so in future they could use practiced methods for development.
This essay has discussed some main approaches for coping with world’s hunger in Africa which is the most vulnerable food insecure area in the world. Suggestions for several main solutions have been made in order to help the poorer countries in Africa to develop their own agricultural economies and in that way to produce food in the most efficient, money and time saving methods. However, the most developed countries should make significant efforts to assist and prevent future food shortage in Africa. The applied material provides workable, tested methods for overcoming the world’s worst problems with child and adult hunger.
Green revolution, several agreements and new technologies are amongst the most important steps that should be made in order to achieve better life-standards and to reduce chronically ill and hungry people. That may become possible after considerable efforts, both from most advanced and damaged backward countries for preventing future increase of the shortage of food. 1324 Bibliography Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2008, The State of Food Insecurity of the world <http://fao. org/publications/sofi/en>, <http://fao. org/docrep/013/i1683e/i1683e. df>, [Accessed 5 September, 2011] Sanchez P. 2005, Cutting World Hunger in Half, Policy Forum, 21 January 2005, <http://sciencemag. org>, [Accessed 5 September 2011] Postel S. 2001, Growing more Food with less Water, Scientific American, February 2001, <http://helicon. vuw. ac. nz/> [Accessed 5 September, 2011] Martindale D. 2001, Waste not, want not , February 2001 Sanchez P. and Swaminathan M. 2005, Hunger in Africa: the link between unhealthy people and unhealthy soils, Millennium Project, 29 January 2009, <http://thelancet. com>, Accessed 5 September, 2011]