How record crops generate food inequality

December 16, 2014

Last week the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations announced that world cereal production was expected to hit a record high in 2014, helping the worldwide stock-to-use ratio—a proxy for supply conditions—to enjoy the highest levels in over a decade.

As this Reuters graphic shows, world cereal consumption has steadily increased for the past 10 years, while production has generally kept pace or beaten demand. But while the picture was generally positive this year, the FAO’s report also highlighted how conflict, weather and disease can prove the tipping point in places in fragile food security situations. Some of the lowlights:

  • In Syria, a weak harvest combined with civil war put 6.8 million people at risk of “severe food insecurity”; the 2.8 million people displaced in Iraq are in similar straits.
  • Violence in the Central African Republic has put one in three people “in need of urgent food assistance.”
  • Bad weather just south of the Sahara caused harvests in Senegal to see yields up to 38 percent below average.
  • Refugee movements put 550,000 people in Chad in need of food and livelihood assistance. More than 6 million people in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia have the same need.
  • The timing of this year’s Ebloa outbreak, which coincided with planting season, pushed staple food prices higher in some West African cities.
  • Drought in Central America put 400,000 families in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala needing food assistance.

Beyond these sobering statistics is the proof–as if any more were needed–of the growing gap between the world’s haves and have-nots. Both Europe and the U.S. reported bumper crops this year, with the report noting that “the U.S.’s record maize output comes despite less acreage being sowed.” In spite of that, it’s a sad fact that Americans are still going hungry: a U.S. Department of Agriculture report cited in USA Today earlier this year noted  that 49 million Americans have trouble finding enough food to eat. That includes nearly 16 million children.

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3 comments

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Note to cereal rich countries: send some to CAR, Syria.

Posted by Factoidz | Report as abusive

Mr. Coronez is obviously one of those individuals who believes the human race is on this earth solely to cover it with human protoplasm. I disrespectfully disagree.

As one of the “haves”, I much prefer quality of life to quantity of life…a choice that will soon have to be made with almost EIGHT BILLION humans already in existence. When it is exclusively the “have-nots” that are breeding at a rate that would make a rodent blush, OF COURSE the “gap” between “haves” and “have nots” is going to increase. Duh???

“a U.S. Department of Agriculture report cited in USA Today earlier this year noted that 49 million Americans have trouble finding enough food to eat. That includes nearly 16 million children.” Simple subtraction reveals that 33 million of these are irresponsible adults, many of whom have had children they cannot afford whose comfort or survival depends on “economically productive citizens”.

No one seems concerned about “as the twig is bent”. How many of those 16 million children will grow up to be just like mom and dad, popping out ever more of themselves. Good grief! We are intelligent enough to neuter excess dogs and cats before adopting them out, but God forbid taking such measures with irresponsible humans.

A few facts to clarify provided statistics: “Violence in the Central African Republic…” is today a “given” of indefinite duration. The area “…just south of the Sahara…in Senegal…” is not known for it’s consistency in crop production. Chad’s “…550,000 refugees…” and some “…6 million people in South Sudan, Sudan and Somalia…” contribute nothing but urine and feces. Why do they exist?

Drought is common in Central America and so it is not uncommon for”… 400,000 families in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala…” to be needing food assistance. If the Vatican “values” these lives more than teaching birth control, why doesn’t IT provide whatever is “necessary” for them?

There is a reason for the signs “DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS”. Propogation among the unintelligent is limited only by the food supply. This single planet of finite resources most certainly doesn’t need more people with no land, poor hygiene, little access to pure water, no education (or prospect of same), no skills, no home and no job (or prospect of same) bring only increasing pollution to wherever they squat.

The burden of ever-increasing humanity without purpose will absolutely, over time, turn our big blue marble into a big brown marble. It may already be too late to stop that process.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

“NO COMMENTS SO FAR” some THREE DAYS after I posted one? Please.

Just post the comments you’re sitting on.

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive