Analysis on Food Security
Analysis on Food Security
Food insecurity can be a factor of high population in developing countries. The country may have enough food but access to this food, which is nutritious and healthy to the population is a problem. It is associated with poor incomes, low education levels and vulnerable households (Flores, H. L., Amiri, A.,2019).In most of these countries, the government may be controlling food distribution and the may not reach a certain group of people. The United Nations has, therefore, asked me to analysis the effects of high population on food security in the developing countries. I should look into the various factors affecting food distribution in such countries. I am expected to pick a country of choice and site examples in the paper basing on the selected country.
The paper should contain three sections. The first section is an introduction to food insecurity; stating what food insecurity is and the role played by high population growth in food insecurity. The second section focuses on the various technology that can be used to ensure improvement of food security. In the last section, I should look at the developing country of choice and address the factors that affect the process of food distribution from the source to the rest of the population. In this paper, I am going to use Bangladesh. This is a country of over 160 million people but more than 50 million of the population are extremely poor. Bangladesh has insufficient arable land and in mostly faced with natural disasters. As a result, more than 60 million people lack access to adequate nutritious food. As a solution, the country should invest in modern food production technologies and not to rely solely on climate changes.
Section 1: Background
According to FAO, food insecurity is a situation where the population, at all times, lacks access to enough and safe nutritious food that guarantees them active and healthy living. The people should not only get food but the food should guarantee nutritional factors. For a person to be healthy, a balanced diet should be ensured. This means that the food taken should factor in the presence of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, irons among others. Feeding on only a single type of food in not healthy. Safe means that the food provided is not harmful to the body. It should be preserved in a recommended manner and should be taken within the stated times and not expired.
Every individual requires nutritious and safe food. This means that as population increases, there should be a corresponding increase in the production of such food to ensure that everyone gets access. However, in the developing countries, population growth mostly results in less nutritious food reaching the people. This is caused by the government controlling food distribution, lack of adequate land for cultivation, high rates of unemployment and poverty verses high food prices and lack of effective technology for food production.
Bangladesh, for example, is one of the highest populated countries in the world. Over 50 million people are poor and more than 60 million do not access adequate safe nutritious food. The country has minimal land and face natural calamities. It also registers the highest numbers of underweight children in South Asia. The country has high rates underemployment and unemployment. Although the levels of poverty have been noted to decline, the population mostly depends on rice only therefore lacking a balanced diet (Roy, D., Dev, D.,, & Sheheli, S., 2019). Many women are underweight and most children are weak and do not grow as expected (Begum, M. E. A., Hossain, M. I., & Haese, L. D., 2013).
Section II. Technologies That Can Reduce Hunger and Improve Food Security
In order to ensure food security, countries should not only depend on natural weather and clinate changes for food production. Even though this has been effective in the past, effects of global warning have distracted weather and climate patterns leading to unpredictable hot or heavy rains seasons which have destroyed food plantations. There are other technologies that can guarantee food production despite adverse climate changes.
Technology can range from spread of information to the actual techniques applied in the farm. Information is key when it comes to people knowing what to expect at any given time. For example, weather and climate change predictions can reach the population fast enough so that they plan on what to do when it comes to farming and food production. It is also important to ensure use of effective and accurate weather and climate change prediction technologies. Changes in climate due to effects of global warming calls for the need of accurate predictions to help countries plan well in food production. This will address the issues of crops destruction as a result adverse climate changes. Bangladesh, for example, is known to be hit by natural calamities. Accurate predictions should help them to Plan themselves well for farming. In the year 1998, for example, heavy floods destroyed Aman rice in Bangladesh (Mohajan, H., 2013).
Big data and internet of things can be very useful in solving the problem of food insecurity. For example, it can be used to create a map of people who need help in accessing food. The systems can have the locations and the number of individuals and the government or humanitarian bodies can easily distribute food to the people. IoT also helps in creating innovative solutions that can be very useful to farmers. For example, the platforms that enable farmers to monitor their produce, to know when to apply chemicals and can go to extends of directive farmers to where they can sell or process their produce. Information sharing also enables individuals to show case and market the foods they have. It facilitates sharing informative ideas on the consumption of different types of food.
The different technologies that can be applied in food production include modern chemical fertilizers, high yield seeds and pesticides. Technology has also enabled innovation of seeds and crops that are drought resistant or those that take very short time to mature and ready to be consumed. These technologies ensure that high yields are obtained and if applied to many small scale farmers, they will be able to produce enough food for themselves and get extra to sell. The farmers should be trained on the seeds and how to go about growing them. There should be close supervision from the agricultural sector until the farmers are able to produce on their own. This will also ensure that foods are produced at all times instead of just depending on on seasonal foods.
Some countries may have access to food but they lack a balanced diet resulting in malnutrition. Bangladesh, for example, is a producer of rice and many people have access to it. However, majority of young women and children are weak and have stunted growth. Instead of just feeding on rice only, technology can be implemented to produce processed food that have critical nutrients added. Flour, for example should have iron added. Studies show that the consumption of rice in Bangladesh is nearly 400 gm/capita/day (Mohajan, H., 2013).
Section III. Specific Factors in Chosen Developing Country
Access to food depends on the people’s purchasing power, poverty levels, food availability, and the government distribution system (Roksana, F., Jalil, M. A., & Alam, M. M., 2014). Food insecurity in Bangladesh is attributed to various factors. These include: high population, high rates of unemployment and underemployment, seasonal food production, the prices of the available food, inadequate land and natural disasters. One of the things affecting distribution of food is the fact that Bangladesh heavily depends on rice, wheat and maize which are seasoned. During the seasons of no food production, many people in the rural areas suffer a lot as they depend on it for food and employment.
Food prices have also noticeably increased. For example, in only 10 months between June 2007 to April 2008, food prices increased by 75 % (Mohajan, H., 2013). This greatly affected the majority poor who could not afford the prices. Those extremely poor cannot afford to buy food even when it is available in the local market (Mohajan, H., 2013). Increasing food prices is one of the main reasons for food inaccessibility (Mohajan, H., 2013) (Roksana, F., Jalil, M. A., & Alam, M. M., 2014).
Despite the that Bangladesh majorly produces rice and wheat, local production is not yet sufficient for the population. The country therefore depends heavily on imports and foreign aid. The increasing population has increased imports which thus affects the country foreign exchange. Efforts by the government to increase food diversification in order to reduce dependency on imports has not become successful. Even though food availability in Bangladesh has improved, accessibility and utilization needs to be improved and this calls for the efforts of the government and non-government organizations.
Food security is still a problem in most developing countries. In most of such countries, many people are poor and the rates of unemployment are high. The poor have low purchasing power. Inflation in food prices affects them more. Increasing population pose a problem on the distribution and utilization of food. It is also evident from the case of Bangladesh that nutrition and food diversification is another big challenge. There could be food available but access to the same type of food every time not good for growth and development.
Developing countries need to invest in various technologies improve food security. These are technologies that will guarantee high yields and within a short period of time. Technology will also help in sharing information that is critical in food production and access to food and markets. Thus will reduce the dependency on seasonal food. Citizens need to be empowered and educated on crop production and utilization. Most people living in rural areas own pieces of land which if utilized well will produce sustainable food.
Food insecurity is a big blow to the vulnerable; the children and the mothers (Upadhyay, R. P., & Palanivel, C., 2011). They suffer from malnutrition. Governments should look into food prices to ensure that the highly consumed foods are affordable for the general public. It is also important that every government analyses the factors causing food insecurity and put in place measures to address them one by one. It is a challenge in developing countries, especially with increasing population but efforts done targets in place.
Flores, H. L., Amiri, A. (2019). Addressing Food Insecurity in Vulnerable Populations. The American Journal of Nursing
Roy, D., Dev, D.,, & Sheheli, S. (2019). Food Security in Bangladesh: Journal of Nutrition and Food Security
Begum, M. E. A., Hossain, M. I., & Haese, L. D. (2013). Food security in Bangladesh: Present status and trend. Progressive Agriculture, 24(1-2), 263-271.
Mohajan, H. (2013). Food, agriculture and economic situation of Bangladesh.
Roksana, F., Jalil, M. A., & Alam, M. M. (2014). Strategic Approaches to Food Security in Bangladesh. J. Econ. Sust. Dev, 5(1), 42-50.
Upadhyay, R. P., & Palanivel, C. (2011). Challenges in achieving food security in India. Iranian journal of public health, 40(4), 31–36.