THE GLOBAL FOOD BOMBAND THE VIOLENT HUNGRY MILLIONS DR. RAJU M. MATHEW
THE GLOBAL FOOD BOMB• For the first time in the entire human history, food has emerged as a violent and terrible bomb capable of making global explosions, several times severe than the nuclear or hydrogen bombs.• History tells us though famine and starvation are as old the human history, they were confined with certain localities or regions or countries without any global dimensions and impacts.• For Information Technology and Globalization, hunger and famine have become global in nature, affecting the entire world or the humanity and nobody can keep aloof from it. Leaving others in hunger, nobody can sleep and enjoy food, for food has emerged as a new bomb upsetting all equations, affecting peace and development.• Unless the international community realizes the urgency and complexities of the problem and takes global initiatives to ensure food for all, the present global economic crisis becomes severe and lasting long without any solution, as it is not a simple financial or credit or fiscal or technical or macro-economic problem.
CLIMATIC CHANGES , NATURAL CALAMITIES AND FOOD PRODUCTION• Quick climatic changes, including global warming up and increasing natural calamities in the form of floods, landslides, wild forest fires and prolonging draughts are a reality. It is estimated that within five years, there would be a decline of wheat production to the extent of 70% , potato to the extent of 60% and rice to 40%. Diary production will also be affected severely. Unless global strategies are formulated and implemented, millions will be wiped with hunger, famine and lack of drinking water, leading to war, terror, lootings and blood sheds.• Most of the governmental and inter-governmental agencies remain ineffective to deal with the impending food crisis and human tragedies. For, they are mainly concerned only with the global economic crisis, stimulation packages, job creations and a set of fiscal or monetary policies that have nothing to do with emerging serious global food crisis. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN is getting side-tracked without much voice in formulating the national and global strategies on food and agriculture.
EXTREME HOT AND COLD• The desert phenomena of extreme hot and cold has been extending not only in Asian and African countries but also even in the European countries.• As a result, the cultivation of apple, wheat, and potato in the western countries has become uneconomical. In stead, they have to go for the cultivation of rice, tapioca, mango, banana or plantain and pineapple, the present crops of the tropical or subtropical regions.• It is time in relaying less on the cows or cattle but on goats for milk or meat, besides turning towards poultry and camel. These can be extended even in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
THE HUNGRY MILLIONS• Hunger of the masses will be the greatest human tragedy, challenging the very survival of nations, cultures, religions, industries, financial markets and the high technology.• When people are getting fully aware of the hunger of the masses, no religion or ideology can keep them calm with the fear of the God or the Hell or leaving to fate or fortune, as had been happened for several centuries, one of the major role played by religions and ideologies in diverting attention of the masses.• The Hungry Masses will invade cities, nations, military bases, factories and farm lands just for food and water, for hunger can be powerful enough to unite people across races, religions and nationalities, irrespective of rich or poor countries, the east or the west.
THE INTENSITY AND CONSEQUENCES• For the first time in the entire human history, thanks to the technological and social networking and inter-connections , in stead of the millions of autonomous tiny islands, the humanity has emerged as a single entity or locality globally. The crisis of the few has become the problem of the entire humanity. This is more true in the case of hunger.• Unfortunately, national or international policy makers, strategic experts, political or religious leaders and rulers have not yet realized the intensity, complexity and consequences of the hunger of the masses.• The problem is getting aggravated and worsened as a result of the substantial decline of the world food production and mismanagement in global food distribution for the poor logistics, money power of some countries and selfish and self-centered trade policies and the failure of the UN and WTO.• Moreover, the hungry millions have been turning towards violence and lawlessness for no police or military force can control the unruly hungry masses behave like hungry wolfs.
IMMEDIATE AGENDA FOR ACTION• The Time is running out leaving no rooms for time-consuming discussions and brainstorming sessions.• What is required is the immediate global actions, accepting the realities of climatic changes and decline of the fertile farm lands for urbanizations and the natural calamities.• All the vacant lands must be brought under cultivation of the high yielding and the most economic food products that needs lesser water, fertilizer and pesticides.
TROPICAL FARMING• Extending tropical farming in almost all parts of the world, including the massive cultivation of tapioca, banana, tropical vegetables, oil seeds, mango, sugarcane, besides developing poultry and goat farming, food production can be increased considerably.• Equal emphasis must be given in the proper storage ,processing, transportation and delivery of food products globally so as to ensure their availability.
RURAL AND FARM LANDS DEVELOPMENT• To ensure the time bound farm development, increase food production and income and employment generations for the rural millions, a ten fold investment at the rural and farming sectors is an inevitability globally without any excuse.• When massive investment in the rural and farming sectors lead to the development of new farm and agro-based technologies, value-addition of farm products and above all developing highly efficient distribution networks of farm or food products. This is the most effective global strategy for tiding over the global economic crisis.
GLOBAL INITATIVES• To educate the entire humanity on the impending global food crisis and to launch counter- strategies, all educational institutions, starting from kindergarten to universities must launch mass awareness programs besides developing new courses, curriculums and training programs addressing the Global Food Crisis.• All the major religions, especially Islam, Christianity and etc must launch campaign programs besides action plans to meet the Global Food Crisis.• The UN, the FAO, the World Economic Forum, WTO, IMF, the World Bank, the national Governments, Chamber of Industry and Commerce must take joint action programs.