PREVENT LAND GRABBING
An ugly side of current scares over future food supply is wealthy, land-poor states, like those in the Gulf and South Korea, acquiring tracts of undeveloped countries to use as allotments. It is a campaigning cause of the multi-charity IF campaign against hunger. Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar and Cambodia have been targeted and a total area the size of Spain may already have been acquired.
Problem: Hard to police. Difficult to distinguish between genuine investment in Africa and the expropriation of land from the poor who need it to grow their food. Chances: 3/10
BLOCK THE SPECULATORS
Huge sums of investment fund money have flooded into the commodities markets since the financial crisis, looking for returns no longer available in equities. Automated trading systems that exploit tiny flaws in the market and encourage volatility make it impossible for traditional traders to keep prices stable and hedge against spikes.
Problem: Much discussed in the G20 and G8, an international agreement on reforming and regulating the commodities markets looks no nearer than when the problem was first identified. Banks and investors have marshalled strong arguments against interference. Chances: 3/10
PRODUCE LESS BIOFUEL
The pressure to achieve targets on reduced carbon emissions from fossil fuel has seen rich countries turning sugar, maize and other food crops into ethanol and biodiesel.
Problems: Many economists doubt how important this issue really is in food price rises. Food and fuel prices are inextricably linked, so producing biofuel may lower food prices. A proportion of food crops have always been used for energy – 100 years ago 10% of the world's grain went to feeding horses. Second-generation biofuels won't use food crops, but wood, stalks and other waste. Chances: 1/10
STOP THE MEAT FEAST
Meat production is a wasteful use of the planet's limited resources – even today, 40% of grain crops are going to feed livestock and fish. It is most inefficient with intensive beef farming, where it has been shown that just 2.5% of the feed given to cattle emerges as calories for our consumption.
That is why the UN says agricultural production will have to rise 60% to feed the extra 2 billion mouths in 2050.
Problems: There is no international mechanism to regulate or alter collective human diets, and no models other than famine that have ever worked. Chances: 0/10
SUPPORT SMALL FARMERS
Most African farmers are less productive than a US farmer was 100 years ago. There is a consensus between NGOs and governments that supporting and training small farmers is the best possible solution to future food security. A combination of aid, education in low-tech methods such as better rice planting and irrigation, and the introduction of better seeds and fertilizer could spark a green revolution in Africa, such as the one that transformed South Asia in the 20th century.
Problem: Rich countries have proved poor at delivering on their aid pledges. Genetically modified crops are already part of these schemes.
TARGET INFANT NUTRITION
"Eliminating malnutrition is achievable. It's within our reach," Bill Gates told the London summit, and many companies and rich nations are backing an African government-led plan to tackle it. Big improvements have already been made. The solution lies in education on good feeding techniques and getting the right nutrients to the mother and child from the beginning of pregnancy. Overall, malnutrition makes people poorer – it is responsible for an 11% decline in GDP in affected countries.
Problem: Critics say it diverts policy makers' attention from the job of solving the systemic problems in food supply.
ROLL OUT BIOTECH
Huge gains could be available for health and agricultural productivity if the promises of genetic modification can be believed. Gene-splicing crops to help them withstand drought and flood may be vital. Pigs and chickens could have their digestive systems altered so that they eat food not required by humans, and pollute the environment less.
Problem: There are risks with the technology, and no satisfactory regulatory system in place. Public distaste at the idea of GM, especially in Europe, is holding up research and stopping investment. Safer ideas, like stem cell meat fed on algae, are still far from production. Chances: 6/10
Economic growth has long been seen as the key to reducing hunger. More trade, financial liberalisation and open markets should aid the flow of food, of which there's no overall shortage. Successful poverty reduction in China has led some economists to predict there will be no more hungry people there by 2020.
Problems: Not easy to organise, with the west in economic recession and aid spending falling. More importantly, economic growth does not necessarily trickle down to the hungry poor.Child malnutrition has increased in India during the past decade despite the country's boom.
Famine In Africa Essay
Famine in Africa
Famine has struck parts of Africa several times during the 20th century, and to this day is still going strong. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the average African consumes 2300 kcal/day, less than the global average of 2700 kcal/day. Recent figures estimate that 316 million Africans, or approximately 35 percent of the continent's total population, is undernourished. Although hunger in Africa is hardly new, it now occurs in a world that has more than enough food to feed all its citizens. Moreover, while Africa's population is growing rapidly, it still has ample fertile land for growing food. Hunger therefore reflects not absolute food scarcity but rather people's lack of access to resources—whether at the individual, house-hold, comunity, or national leve that are needed to produce or purchase adequate food supplies. The reasons people cannot obtain enough food are: several different historical patterns of in equality. These patterns include the in equalities between Africa and its former colonisers or contemporary financiers, and between Africa's rich and poor. It also includes in equality between members of the same households, where food and the resources needed to obtain it (such as land and income) are often unevenly distributed between men and women, old and young. Whatever the reasons for food deprivation, when the result is malnutrition it can do damage, increasing diseases such as malaria, rickets, anemia, and perhaps acquired immune deficiency syndrome aka AIDS Mal-nourished children suffer stunted growth and, often, learning problems. Malnourished adults have less energy to work. Over the long term, inadequate nourishment can cast communities into a cycle of sicknes, under production, and poverty.
Famine is commonly defined as "acute starvation associated with a sharp increase in mortality." Famine in africa is not an abrupt event, nor an immediate, inevitable outcome of drought or other climatic misfortunes. Rather, research on the history of famine shows that several factors typically contribute to a societys or regions vulnerability to starvation, and that some of the causes of famine have changed significantly over the past century.
Some basic facts are: 1st, it is mostly children who die, followed by men; women's greater biological stamina makes them most likely to survive prolonged food deprivation. 2nd, the primary cause of death is not starvation itself, but diseases such as diarrheal infection and malaria. 3rD, famine not only increases mortality rates but also decreases fertility—that means it will make birthrates go down. 4rd, famine is typically rural, because for Africa's leaders food security in politically influential cities has almost always taken priority over rural areas. 5th the reported mortality rates from contemporary African famines are inaccurate, due partly to the difficulties of collecting such information, but also to international...
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