Food Crisis Argumentative Essay
Is Food Crisis Real
One cannot overestimate the importance of food: eating is an everyday necessity, which has an effect on all people on the Planet. Furthermore, the availability of food depends on myriad of factors, from agricultural workers to commercial agencies selling products, to nations around the world forming trade agreements, to financial and trade markets as well as weather concerns, to transport systems and man-made ecological disasters. It reflects local cultural geography and changing social trends.
No wonder, food crisis threatens these connections in developing as well as in developed countries. The researchers analyzed the 2008 food crisis and identified such causes of food price rises as stagnating productivity caused by a lack of investment in the branch, the effects of climate change, the biofuel boom, doubtful international trade policies, and speculation schemes with agricultural commodity. What about today? Do these factors as well as additional new influences still constitute a threat and may lead to food crisis?
Food Crisis thesis statement
The paper, on the basis of the analysis of 2008 food crisis and the relevant research conducted on the matter, validates the view that food crisis (cases of increase in the food prices and decrease in food stock) continues to put a threat to the well-being of people around the world and requires more serious approach to work out effective management strategies.
What Can We Learn from the 2008 Food Crisis?
At the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008, the issue of rising global food prices became one of the most urgent ones at the international political arena. A sudden and sharp increase in food prices led to the situation when tens of millions of people were pushed into hunger and poverty around the world.
As a result, civil disturbances flared up in different parts of the world, with a umber of countries initiating export restrictions on food subsidies and price controls (Beckmann 80).
For most experts and observers, the food crisis turned out to be an unexpected situation; those who have been studying international agricultural trends tried to warn and explain that there are definite problems in the global food system that can lead to a serious crisis. During spring 2008, the rise in food prices constituted about 80 % with the basic grains, such as rice, being affected by the crisis.
According to statistics, the already huge number of people lacking food in basic quantities has increased by around 100 million people (“The Global Food Crisis” 20).
Political instability also added to the general crisis; in a number of developing countries protests, sometimes violent, took place. At the beginning of 2009, food prices declined, but this rapid change also brought particular problems to the world’s farmers, e.g. uncertainty and compromising access to credit. The article “The Global Food Crisis” highlights the importance of the reports conducted after the 2008 food crisis: “The World Bank’s World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development” and “The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)”; both reports present a valuable vision of a new direction for global agriculture (22).
The Factors Contributing to the Food Crisis
The crisis of 2008 was drastic, but it also led the scholars and politicians read a few important conclusions: the agriculture is a rather fragile branch, which is prone to various influences; needless to say, it requires much more attention and care. Food and aquiculture experts and governments should consider the following factors:
- Population growth: simply put, more people need more food. Empirical data indicates that with the world population expected to reach 9.1 billion people by the year 2050, general food production must expand by 70 % and double in the developing countries (260).
- Climate change: recent scientific surveys predict further temperature rise, erratic precipitation problems, and some other dangerous effects of climate change in different regions. For instance, it is expected that Southern Asia will suffer from the crisis in rice-growing industry.
- Biotechnology: the excessive reliance on the technological miracles may be too naïve. Thus, biotechnology is a controversial branch – the ownership of much genetically modified plant material is concentrated in the hands of the multinational corporations, which may cause problems for farmers and smaller companies.
- Research funds: the investment in agricultural research has declined due to private corporations and governments investing in other domains such as security and IT.
- Land: the amount of agriculturally useful land is decreasing and the competition for what is left is becoming more and more aggressive. We must deal with urbanization, deforestation, ever increasing carbon dioxide levels, and political instability.
- Biofuel may become a serious competitor for agricultural land because its production highly depends on land that is also used to produce food (or on land converted from forest) (Powledge 261).
- Increased consumption of seafood is a part of the protein source shift, especially in China. Also, the promotion of fish consumption as part of a healthy diet is changing food preferences in many industrial countries; as the result, per capita fish consumption has increased, while fish stocks have declined in all oceans to the dangerously low levels.
- Poor infrastructure in rural areas: a significant number of those suffering from hunger live in rural areas and rely on agriculture but, recently, they’ve been unable to respond to the food crisis and sustain themselves by simply growing more crops. The problem is that for decades, rural inhabitants did not receive any investments that could help them improve physical and technical infrastructure of the areas.
As a result, they suffer from broken transportation networks, the absence of quality storage facilities and farming tools, no access to agriculture extension services, etc. (Beckmann 79).
In conclusion, the findings of the paper demonstrate that the world’s current global food system has serious defects. Some factors, such as the growth of population and the decline in the size of the agricultural land, climate change effects, poor investments in rural areas and research, point to the world being at a critical juncture. Therefore, there is a serious need to create a new path that not only ensures worldwide food security, but also supports rural livelihoods in an ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable manner.
Finally, the recent attention to the climate change and its effects on food production can be perceived as one hopeful sign because it puts the crisis into the spotlight, possible creating some sound solutions.
Beckmann, David. “Meal Plan: How to Address the World Food Crisis”. Commonweal,
vol.136, no.11, 2009, pp. 77-82.
Powledge, Fred. “Food, Hunger, and Insecurity”. BioScience, vol. 60, no.4, 2010, 260–265.
“The Global Food Crisis and International Agricultural Policy: Which Way Forward?”.
Global Governance, vol. 15, no.2, 2009, pp. 19-25.