World Hunger and its Roots
Food is a basic need and right of every individual in the world, yet there are many hunger victims starving for at least one meal a day in almost all the countries across the world, especially in the developing countries. World Hunger doesn’t only include the hunger, but also the undernourished. According to the World Hunger Facts (2018), “98% of undernourished people live in developing countries” and most of them are women. World hunger is one of the prevailing issues leading to death. The main reason that makes world hunger an environmental issue is that, the food is produced globally, but it is distributed unequally. Some other issues such as the poverty, over population, pollution, weather and climate also lead their way to increase the hunger in high rates across the world. According to the facts, 815 million people were dead across the world due to chronic hunger problems in the year 2016 (World Hunger Again on The Rise, 2017). The world hunger has been an issue since very old times, since after World War II. This may be because of the destruction of the land and the economic downfall of the countries, there was increase in the prices and decrease in the productivity of the food supplies, specially wheat, in result, there is an increase in hunger victims due to unaffordable prices of the food. Another most important reason for rise in hunger according to Clapp was, increase in growth of extraction of biofuels from non-food crops instead of growing food crops that declined the food productivity.
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The Spread of World Hunger
World Hunger is interconnected to many environmental issues which make the hunger a bigger problem today. Firstly, the population; The places with high population lack minimum proportionate ratio of resources to certain number of people which results in lack of resources. Many countries with high populations, now suffer with the hunger problems the most. Asia is one such continent with highest rate of hunger and over populated region (especially, South Asia). With over population, there will be no enough land for agricultural purposes leading to less productivity of food and when coming to proportions of food distributed, very less food resources would be produced for such a huge population and even if it is manageable to distribute equally to all, there comes another issue of world hunger, the poverty. This is another way of increasing the world hunger. As discussed in the historic basis, economy had a lot of impact on world hunger. After the world War II, when the prizes were increased for the most basic food supplies, there were many people who couldn’t afford and stayed hunger or undernourished with no enough nutritional intake. The most hunger victims are women and children under five years. The words “Uneven distribution of both food production and food trade, and poor access to food, are the key reasons that people continue to go hungry in this world of plenty.” (Jennifer, 2014) and “Of the world’s current population of 6.8 billion, five billion are living at the levels of poverty that deprive them of their basic needs, and more than one billion are going hungry.” (Powledge, 2010) show the effects of economy on the hunger rates across the world. Then comes the climate or weather, that has the biggest and a dramatic affect on the world hunger. By some solutions or estimations, artificial calamities like poverty, or population can be controlled, even in the assumptions after twenty to thirty years, but the natural calamities cannot be controlled by mankind. The affect of natural calamities is very extreme and dramatic. One such extreme example is flood, and drought- one completely washes out the farms or the latter completely make the farms barren lands, which cannot be reused again. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition, there was an increase of thirty-eight million more hunger people than the previous year, which was largely due to proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks (World Hunger Again on the Rise, 2017). Pollution, a man- made affect also joins the natural calamities in devastating the world and increases the hunger. Pollution, in fact, indirectly leads to the natural calamities and then to the world hunger rates. This way, many factors influence the world hunger to spread more and in more countries.
Steps Taken to reduce the World Hunger Rates.
Hunger is an issue that kills most of the future generations, if not solved. The greatest number of undernourished or hunger people are kids and the women. Kids are the future for the world, so to save our future world, there were many steps and policies taken to control the number of hunger and undernourished and are still ongoing. Many organizations were built up and came forward to donate food supplies or extra basic resources to the poor and needy. Government also collected funds and donations and started many schemes and policies in many of the countries to help the poor. The prizes were not totally declined but many basic products came in availability to the poor. New ways to adapt for the worst climatic conditions were taught to the farmers. Several scientific methods were introduced in the field of agriculture to enhance the productivity of the food crops. Invitro fertilization, genetically modified crops (GM), new farming techniques were introduced. Many organizations and projects came into existence that promoted sustainable farming practices, to develop income generative practices, empowered people to create, stock and manage their own food banks at the community levels (World Hunger Project, 2018). Women were also trained for the agricultural practices and were taught about the minimum nutritional levels required by the body to overcome hunger. There were trades in between countries to enhance the supply of resources to developing and resource- lacking countries. Green revolution is widely spread to decrease hunger and high technology use in the farm lands and bio-technological methods to enhance the crop growth are introduced into the agriculture. Many fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides are being used to overcome the pests and loss of crop in the fields. Farmers are being supported financially by the government by giving loans. Farmers are being informed and taught regarding the correct use of fertilizers, technology and how to maintain their financial investment to get required amount of meal to the family and for the use of growing crops. The seasonal crops are planted with a shift of types of crops grown in the history in a particular land to make sure that the land doesn’t loose its fertility due to the growth of a similar crop in every rotation. When coming to the population issue, some countries had implemented schemes to get their family planning operations, an in turn they get a reward of money. For Instance, this is a scheme implemented in India to have only two children (Hum DO, Hamare Do) for every couple and they got reward money for that, which brought a change in a period in the past, but not a great revolution nor it is practiced now. There are many steps taken both internationally and nationally by each country to overcome the hunger and malnutrition, which have both advantages and disadvantages practicing these methods.
Bright Side of the Practices.
Although world hunger cannot be eradicated completely in very less period, the fore steps taken to control it has a bright affect on the rates of hunger and undernourished numerically. The projects or schemes implemented by government are providing food resources to the needy. The knowledge of nutritional values given to the families increased the number of calorie intake specially by children. The bio technological tools and equipment are vastly used in the farms for great productivity and high potentiality to grow the food crops. The pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers used will kill the insects and pests that destroy the crop and enhance the productivity of the crop. “Several agricultural and ecological scientists believe that a large scale shift to organic farming (OF) would not only increase the world’s food supply but, might be the only way to eradicate hunger sustainably” (Taheri, 2017). The genetically modified (GM) crops has an advantage of resistance to the climatic changes and can withstand the extremes for longer time than the regular crops. The hybridization has a great result in improving the crop productivity as, the hybrid varieties has an improved quality and quantity of the food when compared to a normal plant. There will be increase in the quantity of the food or grain produced and it can be distributed to a greater number of people decreasing the hunger. Another use of hybrid crops is that they can be grown by adding the required nutrients or minerals and their combinations to get the proportionate amounts of calorie and nutrient intake. The financial suggestions and support by the government to the farmers helped to maintain their economical issues. The rotational knowledge helped the farmers to grow different types of crops in different seasons and sometimes they benefit by growing the commercial crops. The alternatives to the production of biofuels helped increase in food crops.
Disadvantages of the Practices.
The fertilizers used in the farm lands against the pests and insects, improve the resistance of the weeds and enhance their growth in high rates which may kill the crops. The GM crops has many disadvantages along with the advantages such as, they may create an imbalance in the ecosystem by killing the insects. It creates issues with the soil i.e. it increases the soil pollution and may result in sterility and immune prone-problems in human when they eat the product of the GM crop. The Green revolution leads to the toxic insects and improves resistance in weeds which makes it difficult to get rid of the plants. In the birth control programs like in India, for money some force the women to get the operation done. Although having an advantage of the hybrid crops, but the prizes of the hybrid seeds or the hybrid crop products is high and not affordable by the poor.
Any step taken to overcome hunger has both the advantages and disadvantages when put in practice. New ways are being experimented across the world to get rid of hunger. It is not only the duty in a big pace, but every individual should feel responsible to wipe the hunger off, so that everyone has the basic need, the food, at least for children. World Hunger became a problem due to less resources, so than wasting the excess resources a person has, one must donate it to the needy. In this way, every citizen can give their contribution in such big progress of the world.
- Jennifer Clapp. (2014). World Hunger and the Global Economy: Strong Linkages, Weak Action. Journal of International Affairs, (2), 1. Retrieved from http://db21.linccweb.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.24461732&site=eds-live
- Powledge, F. (2010). Food, Hunger, and Insecurity. BioScience, 60(4), 260. https://doi-org.db21.linccweb.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.4.3
- Taheri, F., Azadi, H., & D’Haese, M. (2017). A World without Hunger: Organic or GM Crops? Sustainability, 9(4), 580. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su9040580
- The Hunger Project: Hunger (2018, September). Website: http://www.thp.org/issues/hunger/
- World Food Day: World Hunger is on the Rise Again. (2018, October 15). Interpress Service. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.db21.linccweb.org/apps/doc/A558226876/ITOF?u=lincclin pjc&sid=ITOF&xid=9f23ac9d
- WORLD HUNGER AGAIN ON THE RISE, DRIVEN BY CONFLICT AND CLIMATE CHANGE, NEW UN REPORT SAYS 815 MILLION PEOPLE NOW HUNGRY — MILLIONS OF CHILDREN AT RISK FROM MALNUTRITION. (2017, September 15). States News Service. Retrieved from http://link.galegroup.com.db21.linccweb.org/apps/doc/A504676984/AONE?u=lincclin_pjc&sid=AONE&xid=229145f7