Most people in developed countries most likely wouldn’t believe you if you looked them in eye and tell them “Did you know that the world is close to running out of food and water?” Some scientists believe this may happen in 2050 and that the effects could possibly be felt worldwide in the next 10 years from now. Of course, many developing countries throughout Africa, Asia, and South America are already and have been experiencing food and water shortages for quite some time now. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has predicted that the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050. 70% more food will need to be produced to help feed these extra people that will soon be coming(news.com.au). More than 700 million people around the world are suffering from hunger and limited access to food. We may not know if we will be able to produce enough food when the population rises, but it is a fact that we do have enough food to adequately feed everyone in the world right now. The sad part about the current situation is that many hungry people live in countries with food surpluses, not food shortages. Many circumstances limit their access to food. Some of these circumstances are lack of infrastructure like roads and storage facilities, frequent war and displacement, natural disaster, climate change, and chronic poverty. Another problem is that so much food is wasted in developing countries. Some of the factors responsible for food losses include inefficient farming techniques, lack of post harvest storage and management resources, and weak market connections(mercycorps.org). I also believe corrupt governments and greedy politicians in developing nations to be the biggest contributor to their hungry citizens and lack of economic opportunities to help save their citizens from a life of poverty and hunger. One reason why so many people are suffering from hunger and food insecurity is that countries do not prepare in anticipation of droughts or any other situation that could result in hunger for it’s people. 80% of countries do not have a backup plan when a disaster strikes or when a food crisis occurs. Another huge reason is that women are not supported enough and empowered sufficiently. Women produce 50% of the food in the world with little to no support. With proper support and training, it is believed that women can produce up to 22% more food(huffpost.com). Some people point towards colonialism as the cause of the millions of people suffering from hunger in the world. Most would agree when I say that colonialism has extremely exploited these people and their ancestors and pretty much left them to fend for themselves in a broken state. Most of these people were adequately feeding themselves and had their own land to do so. While being held as colonies, the land of these countries were instead being using to mainly grow cash crops such as coffee, sugar, cocoa, tea, rubber, cotton and tobacco. This of course not only degrades their soil, but puts them in the mind set of mainly using their land to grow and cultivate these cash crops to help grow their economy. Western experts and governments encourage developing countries to use their land for cash crops. With peasants being forced to grow more cash crops as opposed to food is one of the main cause of food insecurity in some developing nations(pambazuka.org). India has come up with a very unique way to combat food insecurity and help prepare for a natural disaster or unforeseen food crisis. They are doing this through the implementation of their National Food Security Act. The law aims to provide subsidized food course grains to more than 800 million people in the country. It is estimated that 31 million Indian farmers grow course grains, and the inclusion of these grains in the law will yield a higher income for these farmers when the government buys these crops. These grains are also said to be highly resistant to climate change and natural disasters such as droughts and floods(ccafs.cgiar.org). I believe this is a very brilliant idea. As you can see, This law targets food insecurity, poverty, and climate change in one swoop. It would be great if other countries can imitate this law in anyway they possibly can. I believe that as of now, it is still very possible to defeat food insecurity and hunger in developing and impoverished nations. The resources and ingenuity are all there to help us accomplish this task, so why not take advantage of it. If we can learn from this and soon possibly feed everyone in the world adequately, as it is proven we can do so, we can use this as an example to help us feed everyone when the population booms by 2050 and there will be a predicted worldwide food shortage.
By Jama Tasfay