World Food Crises
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World Food Crises
The world food crises are observed across the globe and there are various regions that are affected by it. Due to intense conflicts and wars among the allies or the colonization, the areas like Asia, Africa, US, and other parts are facing severe hunger. International organizations and the United Nations estimated that 124 million people in more than 51 states are facing the food insecurity. There are 75 million food insecure people who have needed urgent assistance and security. Those who need urgent humanitarian action are the insured people and they are rising with 11 percent every year. Various efforts and resolution are in progress for the crises management and escalation of people under the dozens of leading regional and global institutions. These crises are also addressed through the country-specific and thematic analysis of the particular area.
Individuals have limited access to the basic needs of food and because of the unsustainable development, inequitable trade, and destructive agriculture policies; it became widen over the passage of time. The significant gap between poverty and affluence is expanding and hunger is coming in waves (Bello, 2008). Major investors and multinational corporations became rich over the benefits they are getting from the services of poor’s. The devastation of the poor has put the rest of the planet at serious economic and environmental risk. In systematic terms, such types of destruction are referred to as the food riots which is not prevalent in poor countries of Asia and Africa but also in the industrialized nations of the US and Europe. Further, the international aiding agencies and organizations like the US Department of agriculture, an alliance for a green revolution in Africa and the world food programs are failing to address the real causes of hunger.
The modernization of the middle class and the population in Asia led for the majority of the population to directly affect the dilemma. It is a matter of debate for many as the crises are systematic and well determined (Bernstein, 2016). The rise of population in India and China is the case in point which reflects the clear change in the demographics and demand for excessive food resources. Other factors that contribute to the crises are the increasing demand and requirement for the basic needs of people living in developing areas. The growth rate in these regions is rise by 70 to 80 percent and the corresponding increase in the middle class provided for the adoption of different lifestyle and eating habits. More and more variety is required for the competition among various parts of African and Asian places (Farrell, 2017). Similarly, the developed nations in the agriculture sector are developing a relationship between petroleum and food prices.
Both prices are correlated with each other with the estimated correlation and coefficient of 0.6 along with other factors. The systematic changes in the use of fertilizers for agriculture and the need for these instruments have increased dramatically. For example, the hike in oil prices in 2007 reached their maximum peak in the next year. It also contributed to the prices of phosphate, potash, urea, and ammonia. The cost of transportation was also doubled and after the period of two years, it leads to the complication for the supply chain of food and other products. Other than the prices and increase in various aspects of consumptions, the environmental factors have also a drastic impact on agriculture (Bouët & Debucquet, 2016). The productivity of the soil and the environmental compositions are directly put their part in destroying the food services.
The research and reports of FAO reflect that most of the hikes in prices are due to the usage and production of biofuels which derive their energy from the biological carbon fixation. More than a hundred million tons of grain is being converted from fuel to food on yearly basis. Prices of farm commodities are increased with the primary impact of biofuels (Fraser et al., 2016). These products contribute to the food supply including barley, maize, soybean, and corn. The industry of dairy, livestock, and poultry are the largest corn and soybean, consumer. The World Bank also issued a report on the large increases in biofuels and reflected that it is the primary reason for the steep rise in world food prices. Increase in the prices of the dollar is also the major reason as many scholars consider this element is destructing the entire economy.
The nature of the economy in recent decades is global in nature.
Trade policies and implication of subsidies are directly affecting the consumers of a poor country. It became a network as a well-reputed theorist and scholar Martin Khor observed that developing nations are also inter-related with the developed world (North, 2013). The non-democratic forces like the IMF and World Bank are promoting their agenda of colonizing people of Asia and Africa by giving them heavy loans with the condition of not using that particular money for any of the basic needs. These funds are issued for major development and returned through heavy interests rates. The cycle of debts and violation of sustainable policies is continued from many decades. In the case of these developing states, western nations subsidize food imports where the people have a reliance on foreign goods and services (North, 2013). The local production left behind and it contributes to an increase in prices which are not accessible by poor members of the communities.
Despite the fact that increases production and consumption of agriculture commodities along with the other aspects there are millions of hungry people across the world. The recorded estimates by FAO and the World Food Program shows that in the last decade there was a record grain harvest which was enough for the food consumption. Against the backdrop of a 1.5 percent increase in the population, there was a rise in food production with more than 2 percent. The question arises here that what constitutes the gap that is faced by the people across the world. It is primarily the corrupt practices and the unfair use of policies by those who have power at the global level (Puma et al., 2018). Food is placed on the shelves but the prices are putting out the people from the market. The government of the United States and International aid agencies is in hesitation to call these global food crises because they are involved in snatching the bread from poor communities inside and outside of their world.
Since the crises of the Great Depression, the United States is facing one of the worst situations in the contemporary era of economic and food dilemma. To bail out the Wall Street government is putting billions of dollars but fail to meet the hunger requirements of poor people. Further, the reforms of the free market which are championed by the United States contributed to massive consolidation in the agriculture industry. The deregulations in the financial industry allowed the banks to cross over their investments.
The centralization of banking system give loans to the small businesses including the farms which became harder to come by and the falling prices are always left farmers to get big or get out the situation. The traders of commodities are increasingly invested in the other financial services where the large traders moved into the markets (Tadasse, et al 2016). There are banks that traded in the financial services along with products to save their loans. Consolidation and the deregulation markets are vulnerable to shock when the famous crises of subprime mortgage hit in 2007.
The system of bailout and deregulation has put a negative impact on the economy and food system. The less regulation and breeds with more consolidation contribute to the stability in agriculture and financial markets. Investments and because of the markets the system intertwined which lead to crises and failure in financial and food markets (Wolf, 2008). The actual problem is addressing the root cause of crises but most of the stakeholders that are operating internationally just issued certain bailout package which is not the reasonable measure for resolution.
In the same way, the stable and sustainable market of food and other forces can provide the real outcome and support to local farmers, borrowers, banks and other stakeholders. The dramatic departure from the free market and the idea of fundamentalism should be decided immediately to come out of the crises. Those ideas which are not compatible with modern warfare against hunger should be eliminated as soon as possible. In the contemporary era of economic war, there are certain solutions that can be helpful in overcoming hunger crises. The more corporate welfare, technological fixes and the concepts of free trade are good news for the farmers and those who are related to the food services sector. Despite these measures, the inequitable distribution of prices and fairs along with the structure of environmental damages are the core areas which should be addressed in a proper way.
The consolidation of monopoly and the prolong windfall monopoly are creating complexities for the food and agriculture sector (Fraser et al., 2016). First of all the fixation of the food system and the regulation of the market can be a positive point. The decrease in power of oligopolistic food corporations and the development in the ecologically resilient system is the requirement of time. There is a need for affordable food that could turn the system into economic and social development.
One cannot wait for the fixation of food system before making the farming viable, marketing and affordable food. These three elements need to work in a collaborative manner. The localization of food power and the renegotiation of trade agreements that are done globally should be done accordingly. On the fair prices, World Food Organization should purchase the food locally. Fair distribution is one of the major factors that should be considered and such practices should avoid the dumping of feeding more people with cheap grains. The improvement in safety nets for poor individuals should also be supported (Fraser et al., 2016). Through the state level welfare programs there should be an increase in food banks with healthy and fresh commodities. The support for the independent community has based on the businesses at a local and global level. The sovereignty of food is the basic right for everyone and it should be given to the states in the Asian and African region. It is the right of these people to define their own system of agriculture and food distribution.
Concluding the discussion there is an intense need of revisiting the unequal and distorting food prices and policies. The improvement in the power of consumers can fill the gap that hinders their access to basic needs. Further, extensive research and conferences on the subject matter can also resolve the crises. Development in poor states in every aspect of their life is mandatory; otherwise, the impacts of these will flourish to other parts of the world. Basic governance, health, technology, infrastructure and the system of macroeconomics should be improved accordingly.
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