Food insecurity issue is now becoming a serious problem which can impact both people’s life and social development. According to the statistics, over ten million people died because insufficient food supply or unhealthy food, while nearly six million of them are children under 5 years old. Nearly 40% of Oceania’s population is obese. The highest incident of malnutrition appears in Africa and the Caribbean, which about 20% of people do not have enough to eat. In the past 40 years, the number of people who suffer from starving or malnutrition was already up to 1.2 billion, and the number still keep increasing in recent years. Unhealthy developed food security is influencing most people around the world. Therefore, solving food security problem is a big project not only for governments or related organizations but also a big challenge for every one of our residents.[image 2]
What caused food security problems?
The biggest influential factor is the environment.
- Lands were overused for cultivation in order to supply the increasing population. Overuse of land reduces the number of nutrients in the soil so that it cannot support the crops grow healthily. So, the quality of food grown on these lands are poor, lacking vitamins which people need to keep health. In India, many villagers, especially children, got sick because of malnutrition. On the one hand, they are so poor that they cannot afford these good quality foods, on the other hand, both subsidized food and the grain is grown by themselves are of a bad quality. [image 3]
- The pollution of water resource, air, soil, etc., also polluted the plants which grow rely on these resources. For example, in 2011, a wide range of plants in Japan was affected by the nuclear explosion. After that, the plants were full of harmful elements inside, once these foods were eaten, they would have a great harm to human body. Apart from radiation, plants will absorb harmful elements from those polluted soil and groundwater in the process of growing. But the most horrible thing is people cannot tell which foods are edible or not. This will lead to a big food security issue.[image 4]
- In addition, the greenhouse effect has a great impact on food security.
- 1). Firstly, the warmer climates increased the number of pests and diseases, which have directly damaged the crops in the fields. Moreover, in order to reduce the damage from pests while improving the quality of food grains, farmers used more pesticides and fertilizers, which do harm to not only plants but also soil. According to the result of a survey in India, lands are so hard that people have to use a machine in place of manpower for farmland, which directly increased the cost of food grain, then foods are even more unaffordable for poor people, let alone good quality food.[image 5]
2). In addition, scientists produced genetically modified (GM) food to control the destruction of pests while using less pesticide. But so far, our technology not been able to rule out the potential hazards of GM foods, which could have an adverse effect on people’ health.
3). What is more, the changing climate influenced the photosynthesis of plants so that they cannot grow strongly in monsoon period, cold winter or heat summer. It is hard to keep the output and quality of food stable during this period, meanwhile, poor people cannot afford these precious food and subsidies are not enough to support people’s life, they can only eat some grass in forests to sustain their life, which has no nutrition to keep them healthy. Therefore, food security becomes an important problem to solve.[image 6]
Apart from environmental factors, food security also influenced by other reasons.
Economy: Taking Egypt as an example. Due to the distribution of water resources and other natural conditions, the main agricultural products in Egypt are wheat, rice, cotton, beans, fruits and vegetables. Although they are produced in large quantities, it still cannot meet the needs of people’s lives. 40% of all the food supply relies on imports and 54% of wheat import make Egypt become the biggest wheat import country in the world. This kind of economic system makes Egypt particularly vulnerable by the changes of global cereal price. [image 7]
- Population: What else, the increasing population is also an obstacle to food security development. India is a populous country, so the demand for food is a large number. However, due to the imperfect economic development in India, many places in India are suffering from starving, or people have something to eat to make a living, but the foods are in bad quality and with less nutrition. People usually become ill because of the bad quality food, but they have no money to see a doctor.
What did people do to maintain food security?
- Take Indonesia as an example, a country with a big food insecurity issue, they did many changes to improve their situation. They divided the land into different regions to develop separately according to different cultures, resource reserves and geological conditions. The government implemented different policies, benefits, food prices, etc. to these areas, which aim to improve geology, increase people’s income and loan quotas, while ensure the quality of food and increase the development of agriculture, industry and medical care to maintain food security and people’s health at the same time.
Control increasing population.
- As for India, the country with a large population, the first thing they need to do is to control the increasing population while developing the economy. China as a country with a similar situation as India, did quite well in balancing the population and economy, although there are still some problems to solve, the development is not bad so far.[image 8]
Soil and water resources
For regions like Egypt, where the geographical conditions are limited, to overcome the material constraints imposed and improve food security, the Egyptian government and commercial producers are trying to find out more green lands to use. But many scientists disagree with this approach, instead, they prefer to increase the productivity of using lands while reducing the loss of land that provided by the valley and the delta. In addition, make a good use of water resource can also help improve the lack of food and quality of food.