WORLD HUNGER The Facts WORLD HUNGER FACTS More than 840 million people in the world are malnourished—799 million of them are from the developing world. More than 153 million of them are under the age of 5. 6 million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.
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Example: 1984 Famine in Ethiopia
“Up to five children die every day”
Read more about the Ethiopian Famine
Is it going to happen again?
Some Technological advances:
Food is the basic resource of the world’s population. The production of food depends on the following factors:
Few places in the world are ‘perfect’ for farming
Population size and growthSome countries are having trouble matching food production to their population growth (reasons for this are given in the next few slides). Malthus of course predicted this, although the massive starvation and death did not happen on a global scale due to the following reasons:
1. Low level of agricultural technologyAgricultural activities can be classified in TWO ways.The first (A) can classify farming as either Subsistence or Cash-Cropping:A1. Subsistence Farming – Farmers that grow crops and raise livestock for their own use. Grow enough to keep them and their families alive.A2. Cash-Crop Farming – Farmers that grow a surplus and sell on the open or world market. Farm for a living.
1. Low level of agricultural technologyThe second way (B) classifies farming as either Intensive or Extensive farming:B1. Intensive Farming: involves farming on small amounts of land. The farming is concentrated and labour intensive as well as technology. Growing fruits and vegetables, vineyards, and livestock in Canada in an example.B2. Extensive Farming: involves large amounts of land with limited amounts of labour. Machines do most of the work. Grain farming in Western Canada is a good example. Ranching is also considered extensive farming
Some countries use a method called Shifting Cultivation or Slash and Burn. In this method an area will be farmed for a year, then after Harvest the crop will be burned to add nutrients and farmed again the next year. After a few years the soil’s fertility will be weak, so the farmer moves into a new area. Burning is again used to clear the new area. An example would be in the Rainforest in South America.
Hydroponics is the growing of crops without the use of soil. The medium used is water. Most of this type of farming is done in greenhouses and this removes the expense of land, weed control and pests. Fertilizer costs are also kept at a minimum and of course water shortage is not an issue.
Fertilizer Total Yield Increase
(kg) (bushels) (bushels)
1 10 10
2 21 11
3 32 11
4 42 10
5 51 9
6 59 8
In this case the point of diminishing returns is at 4 pounds of fertilizer.
3. Economy – Controlling PricesThe developed world (the Haves) control the economy and trade and will not allow the developing world (the Have – nots) to compete.Tariffs: Tax placed on imported goods to allow the domestic goods to competeExample: The Ivory Coast is a major producer of Cocoa. Canada allows the Cocoa in duty-free, since we can’t grow it. But we will tax chocolate made in the Ivory Coast to protect our chocolate industry. The Ivory Coast is not allowed to industrialize and remains an agricultural supplier of Cocoa.
3. Economy – Controlling PricesSubsidize: Governments in developed countries give money (subsidies) to their farmers to keep the prices of certain agricultural products down so they can be more competitive in the world market.Aid: The developed countries will aid the developing countries in food supplies, but the aid is sometimes connected to some other kind of favour. The US gives a country food, but then expects to be able to place a military base in that country. This type of aid as we will see in another unit is called ‘Boomerang aid’.
4. Military Spending:Countries would rather spend money of machines of death. Countries like North Korea, Iraq and others spend billions on military equipment while their populations go hungry.
Absentee Landlords: In many countries the rich own the land and they either leave the land alone or they rent it out to ‘peasant farmers’.
7. The Physical Environment:20% too dry20% too mountainous20% too cold10% the soil is poor21% potentially arable – something has to be done to the landOnly 9% of the earth is cultivated. One fear worth mentioning at this time is the expansion of cities. Cities tend to locate near cultivated land. Once the city starts to grow, valuable farmland is lost. The area surrounding Toronto is a perfect example.
A lot of food is also used for the making of pet food.
The developing worlds are the countries that suffer most. They are the ones that do not benefit from all of the resources, technologies, and education that the HAVES do. The HAVE-NOTs struggle for a fair share. Globalization is meant to help the poor, however, as seen through the recent WTO conference held in Cancun, Mexico, the developed world is not willing to negotiate democratic, sustainable fair trade.How will the developing countries ever get out of this perpetuating cycle of poverty and inequality?