Potential Food Crisis in Our Midst

Topics: Agriculture, Food security, Food Pages: 7 (2425 words) Published: March 4, 2013
Potential Food Crisis In Our Midst
The current state of global food security is by no means secure. With about seven billion people currently living on the planet and projections of the word population reaching nine billion by 2050 there is a very adequate reason to be concerned about the amount of food we have globally. If we can’t feed the amount of people currently living on the earth some serious changes must be made in order to sustain the much larger projected population. This is a very complex issue partly because so many of the food, economic and agricultural problems we face are so closely related to one another. In the past measures have been taken to produce more food, but have come at serious environmental costs. We must focus on ways to increase the productivity of current croplands through better management systems, as well as designing diverse agricultural systems that are more efficient on a local level. Science suggests that the use of agroecology could be the solution to effectively resolving the food crisis and better sustaining our ecosystem services. “Countries can and must reorient their agricultural systems toward modes of production that are not only highly productive, but also highly sustainable.” (Schutter,2011). This quest for productive, yet sustainable forms of agriculture could be the only way to have any type of food or environmental security as the demands of our population immensely increase. So what exactly are we dealing with now? In the past 50 years we have globally tripled our food production, and it is projected that we need to double or triple our production yet again by 2050 in order to supply the demand for food.(Beall,2012). “At the start of 2011 the food industry is in crisis. World food prices have risen above the peak they reached in early 2008, and the last time that happened hundreds of millions of people fell below the poverty line.”(Parker,2011). Considering that the food industry has experienced two large spikes in prices in the past ten years clearly shows that there are problems arising in the food industry, and they are only going to get worse and worse as the population rapidly increases. Several important world leaders are recognizing the importance of solving this crisis: “At a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial countries in 2009 the assembled leaders put food alongside the global financial crisis on their list of top priorities, promising to find $20 billion for agriculture over three years. This year the current president of the Group of 20 (G20), France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to make food the top priority. The Gates Foundation, the world’s richest charity, which had previously focused on health and development generally, started to concentrate more on feeding the world. At last month’s World Economic Forum, a gathering of businesspeople and policymakers in Davos, 17 global companies launched what they described as ‘a new vision for agriculture’, promising to do more to promote markets for smallholders—a sign of rising alarm in the private sector.”(Parker,2011). Clearly this issue is becoming more and more prevalent and governmental as well as private organizations are all focusing their efforts in the same direction, food security, or a lack thereof. The current methods of agriculture are clearly not getting the job done, and as new science and technology have been evolving in the agricultural world it is becoming that there are more productive, environmentally safe ways to produce our food globally. Cultivation of crops has been a prevalent practice worldwide for hundreds of years, but just how much land do we have available for cultivation? In developed countries such as the United States, Australia, or Japan the amount of land needed for crop cultivation has leveled out as farmers have been able to find ways to yield more crops from the same amount of land. However, in developing countries in places such as Africa, they rely on expanding their...
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