The global food problem consists of the lack of food provision for the Earth’s population. It manifests itself primarily in the poorest countries of the Third World and is currently aggravating as their populations grow. The total number of people suffering from a lack of food is over one billion people worldwide. The fact is that population growth outpaces agricultural production and the development of agricultural technologies. However, according to some estimates even the existing level of agrarian and cattle breeding methods would allow us to feed over ten billion people provided these methods use available resources rationally, and there is a just distribution system in place for the resulting products.
According to WHO (World Health Organization) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), human daily norm should be 2,400 – 2,500 kilocalories, while other estimates give a higher figure: 2,700 – 2,800 kilocalories. Undernourishment is visible when a person consumes less than 1,800 kilocalories, while starvation comes when their daily norm drops below the critical mark of 1,000 kilocalories a day.
Lack of food and its poor quality cause a negative impact on people’s health, labour force quality, and productivity, i.e. it prevents economic growth. This also causes social and political tension and conflicts both in the regions suffering from food problems and the global world.
The global food problem has the following contradictions:
- Food production in terms of output, quality and efficiency is unevenly spread over different world regions;
- On the whole, in terms of scale, food production worldwide formally meets the current world’s requirements;
- Food production is lacking in places where food shortages are felt the most;
- There is no shortage of land worldwide theoretically suitable for food production to feed even between 14 and 33 billion people; at same time, fertile soil is being destroyed in cultivated land and industrial areas;
- Over 1 billion people suffer from starvation and undernourishment worldwide and approximately 1,6 billion people from overeating and obesity.
The many years of experience of the UN, the Red Cross and other international charitable institutions, and substantial food aid do not solve the food problems of poor countries, because they address symptoms rather than the cause. Special food and charitable programmes, however numerous they may be, have a one-off character. It is not correct either to rely on the resources of industrialized nations. We must: address the poorest countries’ scientific-technical and industrial-economic backwardness factors; uproot the barbarically unjust system of benefit distribution; and stimulate the abandoning of archaic forms of agriculture in favor of scientifically sound and technologically modern methods.
It would be incorrect to approach the food problem without taking into account other global problems: political, economic, energy, environmental, social and demographic.
We invite users of this website to discuss food problems, analyze and evaluate them and find ways of resolving them.