Threats to global food supplies

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Situation and Problem

Global food supplies face numerous challenges in sustaining the ever-increasing population and the environmental problems experienced such as global warming.  Food security has experienced key setbacks. This is due to population increase and environmental factors. The essay focuses so much on the various threats global food supplies face and their effects on citizen’s health and ecosystems. There are numerous ways in which the problems can be curbed and various implications of the solutions.

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Overpopulation – population growth is one of the major causes of food insecurity globally. According to Slaght & Pallant (2012), between the year 1930 and 2010, global population grew from 2 billion to 6.8 billion. An increase in population means an increase in the utilization of natural resources. Speaking of natural resources, when the number of people increases in an area, there will be a need for more land for settlement. As a huge portion of land is used for settlement, less is left for agricultural purposes. Again, when population increase, the level of food consumption increases. When food production rate is not harmonized with the rate of population increase, food shortage occurs. If the shortage continues for long, food insecurity becomes the issue.

Climate change – the combustion of fossil fuel emits a significant amount of carbon 2 oxide into the atmosphere. Carbon 2 oxide leads to global warming and thus climate change. Crops perform well under different climatic conditions. Some crops need warm and humid conditions while other thrive under different conditions (Slaght & Pallant, 2012). Climate change alters the prevailing climate of a region. The changes may be unfavorable to crops grown, thus negatively impact food production. Crop mismanagement – In some areas, crop mismanagement is the order of the day. Due to lack of information, some farmers grow one type of crop every season. The practice reduces land fertility, therefore, reduces crop yield (Slaght & Pallant, 2012).

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Solutions and the implication

One of the most significant approaches to solving food insecurity is through the increase in the level of food production. This means farmers will have to adopt technology in agriculture. Precisely, this will involve effective use of fertilizers and efficient land management practices. More research should be conducted, and shared with farmers, on how to sustainably improve crop yield (Slaght & Pallant, 2012). This will be made possible with the help of genetic engineering skills, which will see crops resistance to various adverse conditions produced. The increase in the rate of food production means more natural resources will be required. However, the resources are limited. For instance, huge portions of land will be required. Assuming the population level continues to increase, there will be a stiff competition for land between agriculture and other humans (Slaght & Pallant, 2012). Therefore, this solution is expensive and may present some serious challenges.

Another solution is improving food storage and reducing waste. In the developed countries, less food is wasted, but, there still amount that goes to waste. Since the food prices are low, consumers feel no pinch when a portion is wasted (Slaght & Pallant, 2012). Indicating the “sell-by” dates on food stuff also fuels food wastage, specifically when consumers understand that sell-by means unfit for consumption from that date onwards. However, reducing food waste in developed countries will mean increasing the prices and improving consumer awareness on the meaning of “sell-by” dates (Slaght & Pallant, 2012). The increase in food prices may spark an unfavorable reaction from the consumers. In the developing countries, food storage should be improved by embracing cold storage technology. Even though this may help reduce food wastage, it may lead to climate change due to greenhouse gas emission.

In conclusion, food security is a serious issue that if not carefully handled, will get worse. Population growth, climate change, and crop mismanagement are at the center of the problem. Fortunately, there are solutions to the problem (waste reduction, improving storage and production increase), but every solution has implications, some of which are unfavorable.

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  1. Slaght, J., & Pallant, A. (2012). Reading & writing. Reading, GB: Garnet Education.
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