By Rohit Chetty
Pressures of rising food prices are driving increasing numbers of people towards hunger at an alarming rate. Multiple factors contributing to this crisis such as rising populations, strong demand from developing countries, increased cultivation of crops for biofuels, and increasing floods and droughts?, according to AFP.
These problems have been further exacerbated by food suppliers holding onto reserves to sell their surpluses at higher prices in the future. In effect, countries that depend primarily on imported food, such as Bangladesh, Philippines, and Afghanistan are paying significantly higher prices due to significant shortages.
This sharp increase in prices and hunger is hurting political stability in many regions that are barely recovering from recent turmoil. The lack of food has instigated riots in countries such as Haiti, and Egypt? according to BBC News.
Major countries and organizations are stepping in to combat which could potentially be disastrous to levels of starvation. According to www.independent.co.uk, Britain announced a $1billion aid package in April that includes $60 million of funding to the World Food Programme (WFP) for research into food productions methods.
In spite of crude oil prices hitting an all time high of $120 a barrel, these countries lkike the U.S. are being heavily encouraged to reconsider their biofuel targets, in order to possibly free up more food to alleviate shortages elsewhere.
Others are looking for long term solutions. including improving food production and distribution methods.
According to the Jerusalem Post, scientists are working to develop crops that grow faster and have a higher nutritional value.? However, studies show that globally, there is more than enough food to feed the hungry.
One solution is to fix food distribution methods, as stated in Reuters AlertNet. Over the last 50 years, food production has gone up faster than the population, and the price of food measured in real terms has actually gone down.?