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Impact of Food Crisis

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  • Added: May, 16th 2012
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I have been thinking about the great benefits us humans have been experiencing with
globalization and trade relationships between countries. It is amazing to see how globalization is
essentially changing our perception of the world and opening us to the broader scope that we
were not previewed to before. It is great to see how different countries are interdependent and
supporting each others economy. Take for instance the economies in BRIC (Brazil, India, Russia
and China) nations. These economies have seen significant uplift in the recent past, thanks to
developed countries such as US, Canada and EU. Much needed skills in developed nations can
be found in these and other developing nations. A mutually beneficial relationship has raised the
economic and living standards of these and many countries.

While on one hand one may think these relationships will last for ever, one recently emerging
crisis in the world could throw a wrench in this seemingly amicable relationship between these
countries. Believe it or not, with the current food crisis, some countries may actually resort to
protectionism again. A practice where by countries establish certain economic policies where by
they create trade barriers between countries, be it in the form of tariffs, stopping export of their
absolute advantage goods or by other means.

Take for example Indonesia a once major exporter of wheat and rice. With food crisis hitting an all
time high in recent past has stopped or limited the export of these items to other countries.
Essentially advancing towards practicing protectionism that once was followed only when kings
ruled our world. I wonder if this practice will creep into other countries too?

This begs the question, what about globalization where countries share resources that were
mutually beneficial? Seems like change is around the corner. With the projected increase in food
demand for the ever growing world's population (estimated to hit 8 billion by 2030) and diminishing
arable land, the situation is far from being fixed or even close to a potential solution.

Here are my thoughts. I think the situation with food crisis is only going to worsen. The developing
and developed countries will increasingly protect their agricultural outputs for their own citizens,
and rightfully so. With that I think that there is a potential for major unrest in places like Africa that
heavily depend on foreign aid for survival. Oxfam not so long ago appealed to the world to bring
awareness to this increasing crisis in Africa. Research has also shown that when ever there is less
arable land or lack of food (due to even lack of rain) it resulted in civil unrest.

While developed and possibly some developing nations are well equipped to handle such crisis
(for a certain duration of course), it is the underdeveloped that are going to face the most difficulty.
In a deeply destabilized world the country that is the least favorite is likely to have the most

It is probably time to evaluate and test alternative resources and advanced technologies that will
help with higher crop yield, in probably most unstable environment drawn by global warming.
Under some very recent and reasonable estimates the preservation of human life would require
such radical innovation and even tougher actions around the world. These attempts are probably
our best bet to averting a potential human catastrophe. Unfortunately this time it is likely to be
triggered by lack of food, a crisis that many citizens of the world have never experienced in their
entire lives and may not be equipped to cope with.

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Impact of Food Crisis



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