How Can We Remove The Causes Of Hunger In The World Today?

Essay by tnguyenCollege, Undergraduate April 2008

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

The world's population constantly increases, but the world's potential food production is more than capable of coping in the foreseeable future. The unhappy fact is that while western and westernized countries have plenty of food available and in great variety, many other communities, not all in the southern hemisphere, are perpetually at the near-starvation level.

The causes are partly natural and political. The first cause is natural. The earth's land surface contains huge tracts which produce either nothing or poor crops. Where there has been systematic defoliation, e.g. in some South American and West African countries, the land has become desert. For instance, the Sahara is steadily moving southwards.

One long-term solution is soil conservation and enrichment. The key to this is irrigation and tree-planting. Another is for western countries to provide crop expertise, advise on the use of agro-chemicals including fertilizers and pest-control. Resistance to pests such as locusts is normally achieved by crop-spraying.

A better solution is to engineer this resistance genetically, more than a possibility nowadays. The drawback in fertile areas is that of interference in, or the destruction of the ecology chain, though this hardly matters in the world's vast infertile tracts.

These solutions need money, and in recent years money has been forthcoming. Enormous sums have been lent to third world countries, though often at rate of interest which they cannot afford. Debts have mounted. Recently, we heard in the news that Britain wrote off thousands of pounds of these debts, with the result that several High Street banks have been their profits dramatically reduced. A better long-term solution is to increase the percentage of GNP which some governments already give.

The second major cause of hunger is purely political. Very poor countries usually have unstable governments, most of which are dictatorships. Money, food and...