According to Attenborough (2012) food insecurity is a global concern. The number of people who go hungry because they can’t access food is on the rise. The fact that food is not available for many has prompted many scholars to look at the cause of food insecurity. In their findings, some scholars and scientists have established that there is only one major cause of food insecurity, the growing world population. In addition, conservationists and preservationists efforts to bring an end to climate change have blamed the rising population for the increasing global warming. With increased buildings, increased environment clearing and increased industries, the increased world population has occupied large space that there is little left for agriculture. Therefore, some researchers have indicated that growing population is the leading cause of food insecurity. However this is not true, because scientists have established that climate change, bio-fuels, armed conflicts and wildlife conflict are the leading causes of food insecurity.
According to CARE international, there are numerous causes of food insecurity. However, climate change has got the greatest devastating effect for families and household food access. In fact researches have indicated that climate change by 2060 will reduce the world grain production by about 1 to 7 percent, unless proper measures to mitigate the effects of climate change are implemented. Since the greatest numbers of the world population rely on food reduction in the grain production will definitely lead to higher food price. This means that most of the world poorest persons will not be able to access food, increasing their hunger. In fact those countries which depend on agriculture production, particularly rain farming will experience the greatest hit (Gerds, 2012).
Brown (2012) has researched the effects of bio-fuels on future food insecurity. In his studies he established that World population is dependent on corn. United States alone depend on corn and it is one of the drivers to the United States economy. Therefore, diverting corn for fuel will mean that most people will be deprived of food. Therefore, the impact of diverting corn for fuel will be increased food prices which will impact negatively to the already unstable food economy. Furthermore, associating food and fuel will create economy which is very dependent on fuel prices. Thus when the cost of oil rises, the food prices will rise as well. Therefore, the numerous people who go hungry due to lack of food will compete with the rich who will be struggling to get fuel for their cars. The competition between the rich and the poor will definitely results to food riots which will further cause instability to the already volatile economy.
David Attenborough has found that efforts to conserve wildlife have been intensified by conservationist in the recent years. However, the detrimental effect that results from the ever-growing population has resulted to man wildlife conflict that can’t be solved by conservationists. The growing population forces people to occupy the once habitats for the wildlife, and in turn the wildlife are left with no place to find their food. Usually this pushes the wildlife to look for food in people’s farms and in the long run destroys crops. Therefore, this man wildlife conflict is a possible cause of future food security.
Townsend et al. (2012) have pointed out that the effects of conflict on food insecurity are beyond imagination. In their study they also identified conflict as not only a cause but also a consequence of food insecurity. In these researches, they established that in the countries where conflict is prominent, food is controlled by a section of influential persons. Townsend et al. (2012) also noted that the effects of conflict on food insecurity are exacerbated in countries where the income distribution between the poor and the rich is not balanced. Additionally, conflict leads to destruction of the crops in the farm, agricultural inputs and resources and displaces people from their source of food. Additionally, when countries are at war, much of its food and agricultural resources is diverted to support military and this plunges country into more misery.
A number of people believe that growing population is the leading cause of food insecurity. They have reasoned that increasing number of people results into increased land clearing and reduced space for agriculture and other farming activities. Additionally, they have argued that with increased population, a country needs more food. However this is very wrong, because with increased population, more labor is introduced and farming is made easy and yields improved. This is because large population can farm more and produce higher yield than a smaller population. Overpopulation has resulted to industrialization which some people have confirmed as a factor that contributes to food insecurity. However this reasoning is false because with industrialization food has become diverse and markets have become liberal. Additionally, industrialization has brought with it ways of preserving food making it safe for a longer duration. Thus over population, might be more of a solution to food insecurity than a causes (Townsend et al., 2012).
In conclusion, the major future cause of food insecurity can’t be growing population as discussed above. Instead a number of factors including climate change, change in peoples diet due to bio-fuels, wildlife conflicts, globalization of market, trade restrictions and subsidies. The pressure that comes from the combined efforts of the above factors will contribute to the future food insecurity problem across the globe. Therefore, to fight food insecurity, the key actors must recognize the significance of the above factors. Additionally, development and humanitarian community, along with the government, civil society, private and public sector must come up with ways of tackling all the above factors in order to ensure a future free of food insecurity.
Attenborough, D. ed. (2012). Overpopulation Is the Primary Cause of Food Insecurity. Food Insecurity. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Brown, L. R. ed. (2012). Diverting Corn and Grain to Biofuels Increases Food Insecurity. Food Insecurity. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Gerds, I. L. ed. (2012). Climate Change Will Increase Food Insecurity. Food Insecurity. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Townsend, R. et al. ed. (2012). Food Insecurity Is a Cause and Consequence of Armed Conflicts. Food Insecurity. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.