This research seeks to investigate the causes of the hunger crisis that has affected many countries and individuals around the globe. What brings about acute food shortage resulting in hunger? What are the effects of hunger on individuals? Where is the hunger crisis dominant? This research is vital as it seeks to address this most talked about topic. Several researchers have tried several methods to find out the causes of the hunger crisis around the globe. This paper puts forward a better argument concerning the hunger crisis.
This research utilizes a comparative case study as a methodology. This is because of adequacy and the convenience of the information gathered under this technique. A comparison is made among various matters, the causes of hunger crisis and the effect of hunger. This research methodology compares various views expressed by various researchers. In addition, it investigates the other food related effects on human beings. What causes food shortage? What evidence is available to prove this?
This research has established that the hunger crisis is brought about by poor climatic conditions. The climate is one of the significant contributors to food shortage hence the hunger crisis. Unfavorable conditions such as drought cause immense lack of water, thus, leading to hunger. Water is life supporting and its shortage or total lack is unsuitable for growth of plants and animal rearing. Floods, which occur regularly due to changes in climatic conditions sweep of planted crops and drowns animals, this leads to poor harvests, which cannot sustain individuals in any society (Moore, 1998). The floods menace even displaces individuals from their homes leading to massive agricultural labor displacement hence inadequate production. The acute food shortage brought about by poor climatic conditions have led to increased cases of malnutrition among the affected. More so conditions such as snowfall kill plants at their early stages leading to inadequate harvests. Immense winds, which blow across the earth’s surface, are no exception to causes of food shortage as they have always blown away the planted crops especially in cases where maize is planted. Winds have also had a major influence on rain; dry winds do not carry with them the necessary rain for agriculture (Magdoff, 2008).
Increase in population has also contributed to the hunger menace. The population pressure experienced in the recent years has gradually led to food shortages due to increased strain on the available land (Moreira, 2010). Uncontrolled population has led to people moving into the farms and lands that were purely set aside for agriculture. The land under which effective and efficient agricultural activities are to be practiced has been diminishing day by day due to invasion. In addition, the government is not able, to plan concerning feeding of the immense population, as there are other development sectors it focuses on. Individuals have also invaded forests with the aim of settling, and this has led to the killing of water catchment areas hence inadequate rainfall to support agricultural activities.
This research has also found out that poor government planning has led to acute food shortages. The government is the central planning agency in any country. Decisions made by the government concerning food policy in the country have a large effect on determining the food security and supply of food to everyone. It is clear that most governments are emphasizing on industrialization and other service industries. Sidelining of agriculture or inadequate budgetary allocations to agriculture is the major actions experienced. Governments have dedicated large chunks of funds to sectors such as the military while neglecting the agricultural sector (Koc, 2004). Poor food policies by the government such as overemphasis on cash crops have lead to increased levels of the hunger crisis. People are shifting their efforts to producing cash crops for export purposes to earn the country foreign exchange at the expense of growing food crops. This is a major contribution to food shortage. Most governments have failed in the allocation of funds, to put in place long-term measures, to combat poor climatic conditions such as drought and floods, which are unfavorable to the agricultural sector. Governments have made most citizens especially from drought and flood hit regions believe that their land is unproductive. Food handouts from foreign countries have been regularly distributed to these citizens as a main source of their food, and this has, in turn, negated agriculture and related food production activities (Moore, 1998). There has been reduced concern about the reclamation of fertile lands hampered by the flood menace, on the other hand, fertile lands in arid and semi arid lands are left to lie bare due to the belief that they are unproductive. The government’s failure to educate and equip the affected people on how they can come up with effective and efficient remedial measures tom counter this problem has further negated food production leading to widespread hunger crisis. Government emphasis on agriculture has also led to reduced participation in agriculture as most individuals are gradually developing the attitude of only participating in activities concerned with manufacturing or even service industries leaving agriculture to diminish.
The presence of poor soils has contributed to food shortages hence hunger. Soil is the basis of plant life, and all plants derive their existence, survival, and ultimate growth from the nature of soils. In the recent years, there has been increased soil erosion brought about by both human and natural factors. People have been involved in poor agricultural activities such as continuous use of chemical fertilizers on the land over the planting seasons. The negativity of this practice on soil is that more minerals are accumulated in the soil leading to loss of fertility due to excess accumulation of chemicals. Preparation of farms especially down slope has been instrumental in promoting soil erosion, as the most fertile soil is carried away leaving poor soil that is not appropriate for agricultural activities. Research also has it that some places naturally have poor soils, which cannot support any agricultural activity. Soils, which are water logged especially clay soils, do not support plant growth, as the plant does not have enough space to breath. Sandy soils, which are unable to hold an efficient amount of water required by the plants for growth and production of foods, have negated agricultural activities. Soils are paramount in determining plant survival and growth (Lang, 2010). Dry soils in deserts are not suitable for agricultural activities hence increased hunger especially in such areas. The soil problem has disillusioned many potential farmers who wish to produce food crops for subsistence purposes.
The research found out that poverty is a contributor to the hunger crisis. Due to the extremely poor conditions most people around the globe are undergoing the hunger crisis has increased at an alarming rate. Most people lack the required funds to access the agricultural inputs, and this has in turn, led to poor production or total ignorance of agriculture. Poverty means one cannot access the appropriate education required for effective agricultural management and production, this has encouraged the continued application of poor farming practices, which lead to poor yields per annum (Koc, 2004). Abject poverty has made it difficult for the government and other institutions to concentrate on improving the arid and semi arid lands, as this money has to be always diverted to cater for the welfare of these individuals through issue of regular food handouts. A poor society cannot develop efficient and effective food programs as they adapt to outdated and poor feeding habits, which mean food stores, run out quickly. This eventually leads to the food crisis in most areas.
Political unrest and civil wars in most countries have led to the most dire food crisis. Wars displace citizens from their farms where they have established their agricultural activities. Due to the many tribal and even inter country wars, citizens with a passion for farming have been unable to remain in their estates, to carry on with agriculture. Instead, they are taken to other countries as internally displaced refugees or immigrants in other countries where they only depend on food donation. Wars have led to the destruction of food crops and even livestock. In most cases, food crops are burnt, and livestock killed hence eliminating the available food. Continuous wars in most countries have led to lack of planning on any agricultural activity as any little amount of money earned is dedicated to funding wars through purchase of guns and payments forwarded to the militiamen. War has discouraged individuals from participating in agricultural activities for fear of making enormous losses in case of any emergency (Magdoff, 2008). Political unrest has led to many citizens being held as slaves hence they have been unable to dedicate their efforts adequately to farming and farming activities. The necessary labor required in farms is unavailable when the country is not at peace as people are not able to work freely with each other. Unrest leads to shortage of farm inputs in the fighting country, and this, in turn, pushes up the prices of these inputs making them expensive for many citizens.
The presence of poor agricultural infrastructure leads to increased hunger crisis. Agriculture needs to be well linked across the whole country and other neighboring countries. Well-developed transport channels transport networks are a vital requirement in agriculture. In most developing nations, infrastructure is poorly developed hence leading to little success when it comes to agriculture. Many food crops have gone to waste due to impassable roads. Hunger crises arise, especially when these foods cannot be moved from one place to another. The most vulnerable people are not reached in time by these supplies. Poor application of technology in agriculture has also led to inadequate harvests that do not sustain individuals for longer periods. In most countries, food donations have been unable tom reach the affected areas due to inaccessibility hence continued hunger crisis (Lang, 2010).
Diminishing labor on farms has contributed to the hunger crisis. Recently, a significant number of people were moving into urban areas, to look for white-collar jobs. This massive movement from rural areas where most of the agricultural activities take place has led to acute shortage of labor to work on these farms. The idol lands are non productive, and this, in effect, leads to inadequate production of food, the targeted yields are not achieved hence leading to general deficiency in the food supply leading to increased hunger among individuals. The increase in killer diseases has vastly deprived agriculture of the able bodied and quality laborers who succumb to the diseases (Magdoff, 2008). Agriculture is automatically labor intensive from the time of preparing farmlands to the harvesting and transportation period. Lack of adequate labor has led to underproduction, which subsequently leads to food crisis.
An example of this cause can be observed at the Horn of Africa where there is a potent drought that is always killing agriculture. In addition, most African and Arabian countries, which have been through turbulent times, are being faced by food shortages for their citizens. Most of these countries have been forced to turn to other partners for food aid to their populations. From research, it is evident that the enormous increase in population has negatively affected agriculture as people have gone to the extent of invading the available farmlands and agricultural resources (Magdoff, 2008).
Comparative case study has several disadvantages. Firstly, it is a time-consuming research methodology, as several comparisons have to be made. Comparison of different events and situations at hand needs a lot of time for thorough analysis before a finding is settled upon. Secondly, this research methodology is expensive as much is spent especially in the process of seeking the appropriate information to draw tangible findings. Comparison case study is expensive in terms of both cash and energy spent on the acquisition of the desired facts. Lastly, this method is extremely complicated to use because it involves drawing of independent conclusions whish might not be easy. Comparing various contradicting statements is a hard process, which calls in for high-mental concentration.
In conclusion, the hunger crisis is caused by extremely many factors. Poor climatic conditions experienced in most parts of the globe have contributed the greatest part in the hunger crisis. Drought and floods are the most common poor climate conditions leading to food shortages. Governments, which plan poorly for their countries, also have a hand in leading to hunger crisis. Exclusion of agriculture in national planning has been instrumental in leading to food shortages. Most governments pursue inappropriate activities at the expense of agriculture leading to plummeting production. Its citizens are not able to produce their own foods hence have to over rely on food handouts from neighboring countries. Political unrest in most countries across the globe has also contributed to the hunger crisis as most people are displaced from their farms rendering them unable to work on their farms, which they leave behind as they run away from war. War has also led to increased prices of farm inputs leading to most farms unable to buy and apply them in their farming activities. In addition, war has frustrated agricultural efforts through massive destruction of property especially agricultural properties. This is done through careless cutting down of plants and the unnecessary killing of livestock. Poverty has led to enormous food crisis, and the government has been unable to consider whether to cater for the citizens’ special needs or rehabilitate the land to be used in agriculture. Poverty has also led to lack of exposure to the best agricultural practices by farmers. Agriculture has been continuously under performing because of ignorance and poor feeding habits among the poor members in the society. The massive exodus of citizens from rural areas to urban areas where they go to seek white-collar jobs has hampered agriculture. This leaves inadequate labor force to take care of farming, subsequently, shortages are reported leading to food crises. The presence of poor agricultural infrastructure has also essentially contributed to food shortages hence the hunger crisis. The food supplies designated for several hard hit regions do not get there on time because of impassable. This research has several limitations such as it is a time consuming exercise, which involves an enormous amount of time being involved in the collection of data and drawing of conclusions. It is an expensive research methodology as it involves large amounts of money in the gathering of tangible information to be used. Lastly, it involves complicated procedures in coming up with the appropriate finding. Hunger crisis is a menace that can be alleviated.