Main Causes Of World Food Crisis
Food prices have been rapidly increasing globally, leading to what is considered to be a food crisis. Over 10% of the world’s population is suffering from hunger. Numerous people die every minute as a result of hunger. The continuous spike in food prices makes the low-income earning groups, who are the majority, not afford to put food on the table for their families. The main reasons for the world food crisis are conflicts, climate change, and economic depression.
The conflict between nations is the primary driver of the global food crisis. The war between countries is destructive and forces people to flee from their homes. Property and resources are destroyed, making the affected people lack income sources to feed their families. For example, the Russia-Ukraine war has created huge hunger risks for many countries because they highly depend on imports of agricultural food products. According to a report made in 2021, 139 million people in about 24 countries faced acute food insecurity due to conflict (Nguyen). Conflict disrupts the production and supply of food in and out of affected countries. This triggers global agricultural production, making the few available agricultural products extremely expensive and can only be afforded by rich people. Food transportation is also disrupted, barring humanitarian organizations from reaching the affected communities. Conflict diverts the resources for food production and distribution into controlling the war. This exacerbates the vulnerability of needy and poor people and increases their chances of not accessing food aid.
Changes in the climate have also significantly contributed to the steep rise in the world food crisis. The main natural catastrophes affecting good security are drought and floods. Drought is caused by long periods without rain, leading to the death of food produced. It also increases the chances of reduced or farm inputs due to parched soils. Floods, on the other hand, destroy crops on a large scale. As a result, a huge gap is created in food production. Due to climatic changes in recent years, there has been an increase in crop pests that damage plant harvests (.Plan International). This contributes majorly to food crises as it significantly reduces farm produce. Acres of land infested by crop pests are detrimental to food production. Farmers are left with huge losses, which is also felt globally. Extreme weather events such as cyclones and hurricanes due to climate change also destroy food crops, resulting in low yields and extremely high food prices that people find difficult to afford. The world should take immediate climate action to solve the issue of the food crisis.
Extreme recessions could lead to economic depression globally. The economic shock limits food production, and people cannot afford food (Plan International). Countries experience exorbitant prices in fertiliser prices due to inflation. Fertilizer is essential for agriculture; price increase directly affects food production and distribution costs. The high cost of fertilizer could now lead to food affordability and unavailability. The consumer feels the cost burden. Those that cannot afford the high food prices are stricken with hunger. Additionally, the rise in petrol prices affects food transportation and all the supply chain members. Economic depression reduces people’s accessibility to food. Governments should work together to find ways they can implement to control inflation.
Conflicts, climate change and economic depression are the leading causes of the global food crisis. When countries engage in armed conflicts, food imports become impossible as resources are destroyed. Agricultural produce and supply are also negatively impacted. Climate change leads to extreme weather conditions such as floods, drought, cyclones, and hurricanes, destroying agricultural produce. Inflation results in hiked food prices that most people globally cannot afford. This leads to increased food insecurity. Governments should act immediately to save lives and invest in solving the root causes of food crises.
Nguyen, S. “Global report on food crises: Acute food insecurity hits new highs.” Newsroom, 2022, www.fao.org/newsroom/detail/global-report-on-food-crises-acute-food-insecurity-hits-new-highs/en.
Plan International. “Global food crisis.” Plan International, 7 Oct. 2022, plan-international.org/emergencies/global-food-crisis/.
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