The members of the United Nations appreciated the content youprovided on population growth. Now they are asking you to expand thewhitepaper to include global food security as it relates to populationgrowth and poverty. Read the Case Study and provide an assessment basedon the questions below.
(For a brief list of resources for this assignment, please see the end of the course guide.)
We can view global food security as the effort to build food systemsthat can feed everyone, everywhere, and every day by improving foodquality and promoting nutritional agriculture. That said, there arecertain practices that can advance this project:
- Identifying the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition
- Investing in country-specific recovery plans
- Strengthening strategic coordination with institutions like the UN and the World Bank
- Developed countries making sustained financial commitments to the success of the project
We must bear in mind that more than three billion people, nearlyone-half of the global population, subsist on as little as $2.50 a dayand that nearly 1.5 billion are living in extreme poverty on less than$1.25 a day. According to the World Health Organization, the UnitedNations, and other relief agencies, about 20,000 people (mostlychildren) starve to death in the world every day, for a total of aboutseven million people a year.
In addition, about 750 million (twice the population of the UnitedStates) do not have access to clean drinking water, meaning that someone million people die every year from diarrhea caused by water-bornediseases.
The population of Earth is expected to grow from 7 billion in 2010 to8 billion in 2025, 9 billion in 2040, and 11 billion by the end of the21st century. If the demand for food is predicted to growby 50% by 2030 and 70% by 2050, the real problem is not necessarilygrowing that much food. Rather, it is making that amount available topeople.
Moreover, foodborne illnesses are prevalent, with nearly 600 millionreported cases of foodborne diseases each year. These affect mainlychildren, but also negatively impact the livelihood of farmers, vendors,trade associations and, ultimately, the Gross Domestic Product(national income) of a country. These issues can impose tremendoushuman, economic, social, and fiscal costs on countries Addressing themallows governments to devote more resources to making desperately neededimprovements in infrastructure that raise the quality of life foreveryone.
It is not enough to have adequate supplies of food available.Policies that focus exclusively on food production can exacerbate theproblem, particularly if, to satisfy the need for quantity, the qualityof the food is left wanting.
Reasons for Food Insecurity
Certainly, poverty and the systemic internal conditions creating itinside a country are the unmistakable driving factors behind keepingadequate food resources from reaching people. It is only one factor ofseveral, however. Others include the following:
Inadequate Food Distribution: The reality is thatthere is more than enough food in the world to feed its people. Theprimary cause of famines is not poor weather conditions as much as it isgetting the needed amount of food to the people who need it most. Quiteoften causes result from political instability and poor infrastructure,often involving a country’s port facilities, transportationavailability and quality of road networks. Paradoxically, although thepopulation is going to increase in the coming decades, the amount offood potentially available will increase along with it. This is duemostly to advances in bio agricultural engineering and increased seedimmunity to molds.
Writing in the late 18th century, Thomas Malthus warned that globalpopulation would exceed the capacity of Earth to grow food, in thatwhile population would grow exponentially, food production would growonly arithmetically. Although this theory has been proven invalid, theunfortunate result of its propagation has been for some governments torationalize political choices that avoid helping the poverty-ridden andstarving.
Political-Agricultural Practices: The widespread useof microbiological, chemical, and other forms of pesticides in foodcontinues to be a serious issue throughout the global food chain.Widespread use of fertilizers also causes illness in millions of peopleevery year, not only from the food itself, but from run-off into streamsand rivers, contaminating entire water supplies. The human, social, andeconomic costs of such practices impede improvements being made notonly in the raising of crops, but in their distribution. Added to this,the rising demand in developed countries for biofuels, currently refinedmostly from corn and soy beans, reduces the amount of arable landdevoted to producing food.
The failure of many farmers in the developing world to rotate theircrops harms the replenishing of nutrients necessary to continue growingcrops. In addition, the repeated use of agricultural land withoutallowing it to lie fallow in order to replenish needed soil nutrientsthereby increasing fertility and maximizing crop yield results inreduced agricultural output and insufficient crop yields.
Economic Issues: The fact is, government policiesthat focus on growing cash crops, for example, are designed solely toexport them to earn foreign exchange. This may be fine for thegovernment in its efforts to earn money, but the result is that farmersend up growing for foreign markets and not domestic ones. This leads toshortages of necessary staples. Consequently, the poorest of thepopulation are frozen out of the local markets because they cannotafford the food that remains to be sold.
Civil Strife: Civil war can interrupt the flow offood from gathering depots, such as ports, to distribution centers whereit can be handed out to people. During the 1990s, Somalia wasparticularly hard hit by their civil war, as clans fought for control ofthe main port at Mogadishu. This affected the flow of food to the restof the population. In this case, as with many civil wars, whoevercontrols the supply of food controls the country. In failed and failingstates like Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, South Sudan,Yemen, and Libya, food very often is another weapon used by one segmentof the population against another.
II. Case Assessment
The issue is not the lack of food in the world, but the access tofood. Simply put, food is not getting to where it needs to be in time.In developing countries, the food shortage is due to governmentalcontrol over food. These governments maintain their control andpreference for certain groups by limiting access of nutritious food tocertain other groups. The result is the weaponizing of food.
In this second part of your whitepaper, research the impact ofpoverty on global food security and the technology available potentiallyto remedy this situation. Write a minimum of four pages assessing theimpact, citing at least five credible sources in your research. Referspecifically to the role these issues have had in the developing countryof your choice. In this assessment, please include:
- A cover page with your name, title of the course, date, and the name of your instructor
- A one-half page introduction
- A middle section that is numbered and divided into three one-pagesections. Each of these sections should answer one of the followingquestions:
- What is food insecurity and what role does population growth play in it?
- What factors specifically interrupt the flow of food from the source to the people in the developing country you selected?
- What forms of technology can be used to reduce hunger and improvefood security? Explain how these technical solutions can do that.
- A one-half page conclusion
- Cite at least five credible sources excluding Wikipedia, dictionaries, and encyclopedias for your assessment.
- For a brief list of resources for this assignment, please see the end of the course guide.