The next steps in solving the worldwide food shortage
By Steve Coulter
The facts of the worldwide food shortage are simple: over a billion people living in the world today are suffering from chronic hunger due to a rise in food prices.
The rise has been caused by a combination of factors, ranging from global warming to the use of crops for bio-fuels as well as an increase in meat consumption.
While the causes are known and the solutions have been circulated, the burden remains on the rest of the world to solve the worldwide food shortage before it’s too late.
One of the areas worth mentioning in the discussion of what’s next for the worldwide food shortage is Haiti. The small island country has been suffering from the crisis for more than half a decade now and they continue to search for a concrete method to lowering food prices.
The government’s short-term plan of lowering the price of rice through foreign loans and funds worked initially but has grown stagnant this past year.
In addition, other island nations are beginning to lose a grip on the worldwide food shortage, failing to erect either a short-term or long-term plan that can generate positive results.
Poverty persists as the underlying cause to the entire situation; however, economically, this situation goes beyond just the haves and the have-nots.
The worldwide food shortage has been an ongoing international crisis now for more than four years and with no end in sight, the question “what happens next?” can’t be answered in a simplistic manner.
Because the worldwide food shortage is multi-faceted, and because of its dualistic nature, solving this problem isn’t a one-method-only type of task.
Rather, the severe and acute crisis, otherwise known as the Great Hunger of 2008, is growing like a tumor and threatening to plague the world beyond the next two generations.
The acute crisis is problematic, because it can’t be tackled with one answer, similar to the over-arching shortage catastrophe.
The increases in food prices across the world’s market over the past three years have been nothing short of shocking as the crippling after-effects of the ballooned prices have now seized more basic food crops than ever before, making it all the more difficult to abate.
The future generations must carry the torch in putting the next steps into place, because, as of right now, the current strategists and policy makers have failed to even make a defiant swing at the expanding monster.
Despite the fact higher food prices and food riots, such as the ones seen in Haiti, have been pushed to the top of the political agenda of most UN Agencies, there is no data saying the worldwide food shortage is going in any direction other than up – more starvation and, therefore, more death.
The next move shouldn’t be to call for political action, which has obviously been slow and ineffective at installing a ‘freeze’ strategy, where they could stagnant the growth of the epidemic; subsequently, it’s not governmental funds that offer a solution to the problem.
It is all of us.
Food prices must be lowered and the only way that can happen is through a rationale reaction to what is going on around the world – drop prices. Whether it is the conglomerates or the individual business, togetherness is the essential theme when ‘what’s next for the worldwide food shortage?’ is being asked.
Governments and the UN system have grown complacent, believing that food security mechanisms have increased the level of danger in the long-term. This ideology not ignores the main issue – the increase in food prices worldwide – but also is void of any real progression or hope. Rather, it is a bureaucratic cop out, occurring at the same time other countries such as Haiti and Darfur need immediate solutions.
The world agenda needs to become more active before these nations are completely obliterated from their existence. The big jump in world food prices is a shift that needs to be studied not just globally in an attempt to solve the worldwide food shortage, but, more importantly, needs to be investigated on a smaller scale – nation by nation.
Another area of particular interest is India, which has seen a drastic increase in its food imports. According to a farm analyst in New Delhi, “If India and China are both turning into bigger importers, shifting from food self-sufficiency as recently we have seen in India, then the global prices are definitely going to rise still further, which will mean the era of cheaper food has now definitely gone away.”
As the worldwide food shortage continues, the new problems mount at an alarming rate. As for the solutions, there isn’t such an increase; rather, a stagnation.
What’s next isn’t a question that can necessarily be answered right now then, because what’s being done now is still ambiguous.
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