What Are the Main Causes of Food Insecurity in the World Today?

Topics: Agriculture, Food security, Food Pages: 5 (1648 words) Published: May 23, 2011
What are the main causes of food insecurity in the world today? Outline and evaluate 2 or 3 possible solutions to food insecurity problems
Currently, millions of people across the globe suffer from under-nutrition and hunger. In 2007, the UN (United Nations) estimated that there are approximately 850 million people who suffer undernourishment in the world today. It also reported that 799 million undernourished people live in developing countries, most of which are on the African and Asian continents. Reportedly, the major contribution to this international issue has been food insecurity (FAO, 2008, p.18). It affects people ranging from individual to national level with various causes, particularly neglect of agriculture and natural disaster in developing countries (FAO, 2005, no page given). This essay will identify two main causes of food insecurity which have been said above and also it will outline and evaluate two possible solutions to food insecurity problems: improving agriculture and humanitarian aid system.

It is necessary to define the meaning of food security before its causes can be considered. Commonly, the concept of food insecurity is the state of being unable to have both physical and economic access to enough and nutritious food (WHO, 2008). Socially, people who are in this state often cannot maintain household food supplies and suffer from under nutrition (FAO, 2005). This situation prevails when nations lack sustainable access to sufficient, safe and, nutritious food for productive and health living (WHO, 2008). According to an on-line journal by Getachew (2008, no page given), neglect of agriculture has been ascribed as the major cause of food insecurity from short-term shocks. Other search illustrates that natural disasters can have significant impacts on food security from long-term shocks (FAO, 2005). Millions of people around the world are affected on food insecurity by various issues especially downgrading agriculture and natural disaster.

Having outlined the definition of food security, it is now possible to consider the main causes of food insecurity. There are various factors that contribute to food insecurity in different parts of the world. First, neglect of agriculture especially in developing countries is such a key cause of chronic food insecurity (Makoni, 2010, no page given). According to Khasnobis (2009, p230), the amount of foreign aid allocated to agricultural activities has decreased from 19 per cent in 1980 to 4.5 per cent in 2009. Nevertheless, only a few governments have attained the 2003 Maputo Declaration which required every nation to allocate 10 per cent of its budget to agriculture. It can be said that this has consequently led to poor infrastructure, along with poor food-storage facilities, which risk such nations in suffering food shortage in case of crop failure. Indeed, food insecurity is likely to be greater in areas with lower agricultural knowledge (USDA, 2010, no page given). According to an on-line article by Makoni (2010, no page given), 80 percent of population in Africa depend on agriculture and people become more poor because of low productivity and consequently, 30 percent suffer from hunger daily. Therefore, it could be argued that this evidence illustrates that chronic neglect of agriculture can lead to low productivity, poverty, and eventually chronic food insecurity.

Secondly, natural disasters can be considered as another major cause of food insecurity. According to an on-line article in FAO (2008, no page given), in the past two decades, the number of sudden onset natural disasters including floods, hurricanes and earthquakes has increased dramatically from 14 per cent in the 1980s to 27 per cent since 2000.In the result of this, the number of food insecurity has increased sharply during the same period (FAO, 2008, no page given).Food security is affected by natural disasters through...
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