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Scholarly Essay Sample


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Based on the article “Can the World Feed Ten Billion People?”

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Scholarly Essay Sample

  1. 1. v See more essay samples onESSAYSHARK.COM Scholarly Essay Sample HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH: FEEDING 10 BILLION PEOPLE - Online Academic Assistance
  2. 2. v See more essay samples onESSAYSHARK.COM As living conditions improve for most people all over the world, the populationcontinues to grow. Demographers with a finger on the pulse of human progress makeestimates that multiply not only numbers of people that might inhabit Earth in the future, butalso predict their ability to feed themselves, and the problems they are likely to face withadequate nutrition, disease, control of climactic effects, space management, and naturaldisasters. An attempt is made here to discuss the importance of „agroecology‟, as described byRaj Patel in his 2011 article “Can the world feed 10 billion people?” and the author‟sassertion that gender issues and the ability of a country to produce enough, if not more, thanits own population can eat, are related. Apart from effects on the environment and the effectson the concepts of territoriality, privacy, and personal space that crowding have, the mainconsequence Patel envisions for the future is pressure on food production. The article, which takes Malawi, a very small country in Africa, as an example of howattitudes towards food production can change an entire economy, demonstrates how peasantfarming is viewed differently by people who depend on it, and by those to whom it representspoverty. “Today, some 40 per cent of Malawians live below the countrys poverty line, andpart of the reason for widespread chronic poverty is that more than 70 per cent of [them] livein rural areas.” (Patel 2011) Those who, like Oxford economist Paul Collier, argue the value of large-scalecommercial farming, showing how most developed countries do well without peasanthusbandry, dismiss notions of farming on small family holdings as overly romantic andimpractical (Patel 2011). They assert that first world farming works “most lucratively withlarge-scale plantations and operations to which small farmers are little more than animpediment.” They also do away with poor village situations where lack of space, non-existence of privacy, and entrenched territorial attitudes are the norm. Patel‟s findings, however, which he bases on studies carried out by the World Bank anddemonstrated in its 2008 World Development Report (Patel 2011), show that to improveconditions endured by the poorest people of the world, it makes more sense to preventmigration en masse to work in the cities. Keeping them on their small holdings, and pouringinvestment in to improve their lot, works better to expand their production and amelioratecircumstances.
  3. 3. v See more essay samples onESSAYSHARK.COM Since populations grow fastest in Africa and Asia, and since the cities of thesecontinents are most likely to suffer overcrowding and its consequences, Patel‟s argumentcarries weight. A look at the consequences of over-crowding gives the viewer with amodicum of foresight the ability to predict city sprawling, inability of governments to catchup with provision of infrastructure, and eradication of small-town culture, social adhesion,and popular folklore. Dense populations in ever-expanding cities become crime-ridden, anonymous, andmarginalizing. Patel (2011) gives a potted history of agriculture policy in developingcountries to show how logical it is to channel improvement. He demonstrates how investmentin fertilizers, improved seed, and new technologies for small holdings, especially afterdevastation of wars and post-colonial self-assertion, keeps farmers on their own land. Called„agroecology‟, this solution avoids mass migration and urban over-crowding, and makesmarked improvements in housing and food production. Increased output means they exportmore foodstuffs while improving their own nutrition with crop diversity (Patel 2011). If one were to choose between the two – that is, moving small farmers to the cities, orhelping them stay in their villages after improving their lot – there is greater value in thelatter alternative. Patel expands his reasons by showing improvements in the welfare ofwomen, on whose shoulders rest responsibilities of health and prosperity of whole villagepopulations. Conclusions can be drawn from suggestions made in this article – mostly madeusing recent reports and findings from key organizations that determine directions of globalmovement – that there are many ways to view issues, and it is not always the most obvioussolution that works effectively.
  4. 4. v See more essay samples onESSAYSHARK.COM ReferencePatel, R. “Can the world feed 10 billion people?” Foreign Policy Magazine Retrieved August 2, 2012 eople