Thursday, October 29, 2009


Global food production is trying to catch up with the increasing needs of a population that is growing much more rapidly than we can cope with and there does not appear to be any unanimity regarding our ability to meet the challenge in the coming years. While green revolution of the sixties in the last millennium was able to avert mass starvation and misery, what can be done now to achieve quantum jump in production to prevent such a catastrophe in future, defies an answer.

Though technically it may be possible to raise enough food that is needed, putting these foods in the hands of those who really need them is a matter of economic logistics. "Agronomists and development experts who gathered in Rome last week generally agreed that the resources and technical knowledge were available to increase food production by 50 percent in 2030 and by 70 percent in 2050 — the amounts needed to feed a population expected to grow to 9.1 billion in 40 years. But the conundrum is whether the food can be grown in the developing world where the hungry can actually get it, at prices they can afford. Poverty and difficult growing conditions plague the places that need new production most, namely sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia". Even if resources are available, how to mobilize them is a big question mark and must be addressed with some urgency.

It is real a catch 24 situation where even if scientists come up with technologies that can achieve required production, making the food available to the needy ones is a difficult task because of poor buying capacity of people in some of the least developed countries. Parallel efforts must be made to equip these unfortunate people with the necessary wherewithal to increase their purchasing power through development oriented economic assistance.


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