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Friday, 20 May 2011

Food Shortage Crisis looms in the world

We have seen in the past several experts giving signals to warn pending food and water shortage in the world. We have looked at the surrounding issues and now report on the factors affecting food shortages.

Food experts have warned a future crisis due to food shortage owing to the following reasons:

· Changing weather conditions and extreme weather - leading to shortage of crops and farmers taking risk aversion position where they refrain from investing in farming due to weather uncertainties.

· Bee colony collapse - Studies have reported that bee colonies are on the decline. The abundance of four common species of bumblebee has dropped by 96% in just the past few decades. It is generally understood that bees pollinate around 90% of the world's commercial crops. Obviously, if these numbers are remotely close to accurate, then our natural food supply is in serious trouble. We all have to have seeds that don't require open pollination to bear fruits. Innovation and learning from other giants have a greater role to play going in this direction.

· Collapsing Dollar - Commodity speculation has resulted in massive food inflation that is already creating crisis levels in poor regions in the world. Food commodity prices have soared to record highs mainly because they trade in the ever-weakening dollar. The food represents a tangible investment in an era of worthless paper dollars. Because the debt problems in the United States are only getting worse, and nations such as China and Russia are dropping the dollar as their trade vehicle, the dollar will continue to weaken, further driving all commodity prices higher in USA and other part of the world.

· Regulatory and Financial organisations - Due to strict regulations and red tapes, small farmers are slowly going out of business. This applies to Government agencies as well as banks and other financial institutions. In order to reduce the impact, the Government and other financial organisations should reach up to the root level and help the farmers to produce more by relaxing their regulations and helping them financially with lower interest rates. They should also initiate programmes aimed at transfer of useful knowledge including new technologies in farming to the traditional farmers and develop education in farming as well.

· Increased Soil Pollution - Geo-engineering has been taking place on a grand scale in the world for decades now. The mass contamination caused by natural (such as Tsunami) and artificial (such as nuclear plant break-down) actions is killing plants and trees and making the soil sterile to most crops.

· Monopoly by trade giants - Some farming giants implement strategies that push small and medium farmers out of business. This requires government’s intervention to reverse the trend and provides guarantee for them to continue with their business as usual because these categories of the people possess higher fertile lands all around the world. The way forward is for the giants to involve in their business in a fair and ethical manner while helping these farmers to develop their businesses, because these giants have huge financial and technical capacity as well as potential to pull-together all available resources to tackle the looming food crisis.

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