What are the reasons that disadvantage poorer countries in terms of food availability?
Climate change is one of the main reasons for food scarcity and lack of food in developing countries. Climate change affects every country, worldwide, but only developed countries are equiped to deal with the effects. Climate change is the cause of severe and unpredictable weather patterns and changes. This leads to damaged crops; one of the main food sources for developing countries such as India and East Africa.
Also, it is harder for developing countries to maintain a regular food supply due to higher temperatures and drier winters which affect regular crop harvests. For example, hotter weather is the main cause of melting ice caps, which raises the sea levels, threatening flood, resulting in the destruction of crops. Hot conditions also minimises the availability of clean and safe drinking water.
Natural disasters such as floods and droughts also threaten the production of crops hampering food availability. New analysis shows that 21 million people worldwide are affected by river floods each year on average. Drought is also the most common natural cause and main contributor to famine in arid and semiarid regions. Many countries such as Nigeria, Chad and Bangladesh suffer greatly from this uncertainty.
Other factors which limit the availability of food in developing nations around the world include the difficulties faced through the production crops. This can be due to many things including, arid land, which does not allow the growth of crops due to the lack of moisture in the ground. Also many developing countries are located in remote or inaccessible areas. Many developing nations such as India, Nepal and Lesotho are known for their mountainous countrysides. This is not ideal land to farm on, therefore hindering food availability. Poor soil quality is also another large factor.
Food Distribution can be defined as a method of transporting food or drink from one place to another. Due to the large population of people in developing countries, it is becoming more difficult to feed the hungry. Over time, severe food shortages have and may continue to escalate.
Poorer countries such as Sub- Saharan Africa and South East Asia, that are lacking sufficient food supplies, are becoming more dependent on imported foods from other countries. This causes political and economic consequences such as inflation and higher national debt, as governments strive towards a solution.
Distributing food is also an issue due to slow transportation routes; from the city centres to remote regions. Often fresh food is impossible to transport, due to the long periods of time taken and the tendency for spoilage to occur. Also, if wars are taking place in poorer countries, roads could potentially be closed, preventing food aid from being delivered to the citizens.
The rising demand for food is becoming a more prominent fact, as the population grows in several developing countries. If the amount of food is not increasing as the population does, it is going to become gradually harder to feed everyone.
A solution to this, can be to allow international aid organisations to have better access to food stores that can be used as short term food aid, for countries, in times of need. Another solution would be to support local food systems through investment and education. This ensures that a healthy supply of food will be stored, and the regulation of more sustainable farming with always remain as a backup option supplying food for the people, in times of crisis.
Due to the poor management of the economy, developing countries are suffering greatly. In order to move forward, for a technologically advanced future, governments in developing countries need to encourage the development of the nation. This can be encouraged by building and maintaining efficient infrastructure, as well as raising and spending finances wisely. Laws also need to be enforced to protect businesses and workers within the companies.
Developing countries are at a loss due to the lack of technological developments in their country. An example of this can be seen in Sub – Saharan Africa. Farmers do not have the technology required to farm large amounts of produce, leading to only 20% of crops successfully growing, due to poor quality seeds and fertilisers, and lack of equipment.
One of the major downfalls of developing countries include the limitations of mass production. Advanced machinery and industry would act as a solution for food shortages. However, unfortunately, due to the state of the third world economies; this can be difficult.
Biotechnologies have been employed in order to fix impoverishment throughout developing countries. Genetically modified crops, increasing the production levels by 50%, to meet the demands of the growing population. Biotechnologies can be beneficial, however, it is important to consider the simple changes that can be made, creating a major difference in the production of crops.
For example, by evenly spacing out the seeds planted, you are ensuring the crops have equal access to soil nutrients, sunlight and moisture. Simple tools can be created, such as a hollow tube with two strings. This can make a cost effective, locally appropriate tool, further advancing the way in which farmers plant crops.
There are several social factors that can be causes of poverty in developing countries. This in turn results in food shortages.
Population is one of the major causes of this. It is common in third world countries to be overpopulated. This is where there are too many people to provide sufficient land and food. This can be a problem that can easily become unmanageable and hard to control. Developing countries that are overpopulated are often in economic crisis. Therefore they do not have the resources such as money to invest in education or to access health care to combat this. They then become trapped in a cycle of poverty which further escalates the problem as the population continues to grow.
Societal factors may also include the order in which families may eat. For example, in a developed country, it is common for the children to be fed first, as they get hungrier, sooner and may need to be put to bed earlier. The mother and father would then eat quietly together after the children were asleep.
This is not usually the case in developing countries. Due to the lack of food, it is difficult to provide enough nourishment for the whole family, therefore it is important to feed the most hardworking member of the family. Often this is the father as he would work very hard throughout the day, usually completing physical and strenuous tasks such as farming or herding livestock, making money to support the family.
Some countries governments may also value certain things over others for the nation. In developed countries, the land is protected and secured with defence forces and internal police forces, due to the government’s large financial stability. This can be achieved while basic needs are not compromised.
However, in developing countries the government may decide to put the country’s finances towards other priorities they believe will provide security for the population such as military or weapons. For example this has occurred in Saudi Arabia and China. Financial stability is rare in developing countries, and if all of the country’s wealth goes towards protecting the land, it makes it hard for the governments to provide sufficient food for every family.
Other societal factors that interrupt food supply, include conditions such as civil war and unrest in regions where terrorist groups cause fear. This makes it difficult for countries already at a disadvantage, to distribute and produce an adequate food supply.
A lack of education amongst the communities is also a societal factors which affects food supply. Many countries are at a loss for farmers or those with the skills necessary to maintain supply. Formal education is also often limited for people in areas such as Syria and Iraq where conflict is present. Many are lost to conflict and traditional patterns of education in families and in small communities are interrupted. This does not allow for the development of new skills needed to help the community. The dangers associated with civil war and the lack of food supply have led to the refugee crisis seen in these areas.
There are many complex problems that exist in regards to food availability, distribution, technological advances and societal factors that impact on the food equity amongst developing nations. Due to the fact only 20% of the world’s food supplies feed developing nations there is proof that there is an inequality that needs to be addressed. This research has highlighted the causes of the inequality as well as changes that can be made to improve the quality of food supply, in order to end the cycle of poverty.
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