Lester Brown addresses this issue on chapter nine of his book Plan B. He tries to explain what can be done to sufficiently feed a world with a population of 8 billion persons. He gives an example of China’s way of increasing its food production and how in just about a decade, china was able to have enough food to feed hundreds of millions of people who were starving. China became self-sufficient in food production and in 2005 was able to manage its hungry population and she not only ceased to depend on food aid from the rest of the world but also went ahead to become the world’s third largest food-aid donor. It is the country that has managed to eradicate hunger within in the shortest period of time. The author goes ahead to compare China and her great success in eradication of hunger to other countries that are facing increased food shortage such as; the Indian sub-continent and sub Saharan Africa. He blames the increase of hungry populations on the absence of good leadership as well as uncontrolled population growth rate. He also explains why there was a threefold expansion in world grain production in the 1950’s leading to a record low of food shortage in 1996 where only 800 million people faced starvation. However, this number increased to 830 million in 2003. He attributes the threefold increase in grain production to the rapid adoption in developing countries of high-yielding wheats and rices originally developed in Japan and hybrid corn from the United States. The spread of these highly productive seeds, combined with a tripling of irrigated area and an 11-fold increase in world fertilizer use, tripled the world grain harvest. Growth in irrigation and fertilizer use essentially removed soil moisture and nutrient constraints on much of the world’s cropland. However he cautions that presently the outlook is different due to shortages in supply of irrigation water, a sub-par response to use of more fertilizers, global warming and the high...
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