An interesting fact is that the world population has just exceeded 7 billion people recently. The compiled world population statistics also show that by 2050, there will probably be more than 9 billion people leaving on planet Earth. The magnitude of this population growth is creating new challenges and worries, in particular regarding our ability to feed every person with a reasonable amount of daily food.
And as we go through this period of increasing population, researchers and scientist are trying to find solutions to produce more food. With the discoveries of bio -energy, bio-fuel and other bio-resources, the demand for crops for fuel has increased at an alarming state, competing with their natural usage as a staple. Since 2008, which is the time of the start of the global food crisis, the food industry has encountered various other problems. The prices for crops and natural resources have grown tremendously while rich and developed countries have started to buy land in developing countries so that they can benefit from lower production costs. 2011 was not a good year for most countries as many new problems with food production arose, such as a large drought in one the largest producers of crops, China.
In 2009, a Group of Eight (G8) meeting took place and the leaders of the world agreed with a $20 billion subvention for the development of agriculture which should be released within the next three years. But even though these world leaders have shown their concern for this worrying situation, it is clear that the food crisis remains. The rapid increase of demand for food in many countries in particular China and India is putting pressure on suppliers and pushing prices up.
Many people worldwide who are in a state of poverty have to spend 60% or more of their monthly income on food alone. There are millions if not billions already struggling to have some decent food on their table every day. Can you imagine what will happen when there is an extra 2 billion people living among us? Clearly if nothing is done to get ready and increase our ability to produce more subsistence in various areas of the world, this could be a major crisis in the future.
Interestingly there is meanwhile an epidemic of obesity in the wealthiest countries. In other words people eat too much food in these countries while many are starving in other places of the world. These overweight people struggle to lose weight, trying all sorts of methods, constantly reading books, magazines and perusing the Internet in search for a solution. Does garcinia cambogia work or does the Atkins diet help? These are some of the questions they ask in their desperate quest for a slimmer silhouette while millions have only their bones and skin to show. What a contradiction!
But being positive is just one of the great features of us human beings, and with the rising growth and issues that need to be solved, we are still coping up and fighting and managing to stay on our feet. Regarding the issue of the world’s hunger, we can still do something about it today. For one thing, the world leaders must stop the rapid inflation of food prices because this is what is causing a lot of suffering to the poorer people who cannot afford to buy enough food for their often large family.
Here are a few examples released by the World Bank Global Food Crisis Response Program (GFRP) which is one of the official organisations dealing with the crisis. In 2012 over 17 million people in West Africa were dealing with starvation. Not just food shortage but starvation, many have died from that situation. In August 2012 the prices of food worldwide have increased by 10% due to high temperatures and drought in Europe and U.S. Unfortunately climate change often adds to the supply issue.
One of the main suggestions from the world leaders is to invest in developing countries. If we can invest in technologies and research in every part of the world, not just in developed countries, we will help these countries be better able to self sustain. As they say. “Do not give them fish, teach them how to fish”. By creating more local jobs, more people will have the capability to provide food for their family and not depend so much on government organizations. The food problem is more prominent in Africa and this is where a concerted effort is needed to help these countries’ development.
It is certain that times will get harder and that commodity prices will continue to go higher, and the growing population will accentuate this phenomenon. We need to find solutions to this issue today to limit its impact on the next generation. The world has already plenty of problems to deal with, such as the economic crisis in developed countries, with its high unemployment rate, real estate and other problems, wars in the Middle East that could destabilize the world, etc. Feeding the next generation may not seem to be a top priority, but the issue must nevertheless be addressed sooner than later.