The problem on food shortage happening today, especially in those considered third world countries, is almost unbelievable especially when the more grim reality is taken into account – that this crisis of 2008 is not calculated to go away in the next few years, but will stay and linger until it has affected and wiped out the gains of the poorest in the past decade when the economy was in progression, leaving also another 100 million people poor along its wake (Zoellick, ). If this calculation was made out of accurate perception of the world’s real economic situation, and therefore will actually happen more or less in the near future, the problem then is not something that is to be treated casually.
This sudden surge of price-rise on wheat and rice was due to increase in demand and not actually because the supply was scarce. There were radical changes in recent decades that occurred with regard to sustained production of those crops considered to be sources of staple food.
Because of the increase of demand, the otherwise sufficient supply has now become inadequate, leaving the world’s economy faltering. According to an article written by Francisco Noguera (2008), the biggest culprit behind all these crises is the Biofuels Programs of the West.
Since there were acres of land converted to accommodate the government’s Biofuel program, the outcome was shortage in food supply. Wealthy people in India and China, with power now to hoard more grain and meat, have in turn exerted an upward pressure which contributed to the waning supply of grain. Biofuels Programs have virtually converted “cereals into fuels.” Making matters worse, the ripple-effects of this problem on food shortage are the negative coping with which everyone among different sectors – especially in the market – are responding. Of course, export quotas are diminishing, those who import grains are into panic-buying, and finances siphoned to potential new markets, etcetera.
With all of these radical changes taking place in the markets among nations, in the agricultural sector however, there aren’t much comparable changes taking place commensurate to the sudden shift. The solution to the problem of food crisis is easy to detect. Looking at it in smaller scale, and in individual level, when someone is hungry, the involuntary reaction is to eat – to feed one’s self. If the family is big, the father will of course endeavor to provide enough to meet the need of his family. The irony which has been happening in this critical scenario is that instead of allowing the agricultural sector to respond naturally, the governments of some of the affected nations for fear of more mass uprisings have tried to sedate the populace, rendering them numb and incapable of responding properly to the need for not directly absorbing the impact once it had hit. In those cases, the government had effectively muffled the shock.
For example, out of the 58 countries watched by the World Bank, 48 have enforced certain measures to alleviate the effect of the crisis – such as imposing price controls and consumer subsidies, etc. This means that only 10 out of 58 countries have been honest enough to their people and allowed this grim reality to set in normally. The natural response of farmers to this shortage of supply in grains will no doubt be to grow more crops that will meet the current rising demand. No other solution will curb this food crisis.
To prevent the potential prolongation of the present food problem, there must be measures presently being done to increase the supply side of the issue. If there is shortage in rice, then let the farmers plant more rice. I think, governments should rethink their programs that directly or may have indirectly caused food problems. Food is not secondary matter in life. If there are priorities to sustain in any government programs, one of them should be on food. And it should be prioritized not only in critical economic times but in any season – lean or plenty.
Noguera, Francisco. 2008. The New Face of Hunger. http://www.economist.com/world/international/disp laystory.cfm?story_id=11049284
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The New Face of Hunger. (2017, Mar 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-new-face-of-hunger-2-essay