On Measuring Global Food Crisis: A Multivariate Modelling Approach by Dr Parvesh K. Chopra discusses the food model inputs, processing, and outputs within an overall mathematical superstructure. The outputs of the model are critical food crisis factors, multiple causal pathways, the contribution of global agriculture and food systems, food demand side forces, food supply side forces, food supply side factors, global agricultural market failures, and public sector interventions.
Dr. Chopra discusses the difficulties inherent in keeping pace with the increasing global demand for food. Global agricultural markets suboptimize or fail according to the author for a variety of reasons. For instance, the existing food production tends to be an oligopolistic structure constrained by multi-national agribusiness, food retail giants, a lack of transparency in food markets, unfair competition and distortion in the trading of food. Similar observations are made in Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity by Frances Moore Lappe.
Dr. Chopra discusses the need to change diets to correct obesity trends. One of the necessary changes is eating less beef in favor of more fruits and vegetables which require fewer resources to grow and the use of less grain. A modified Mediterranean Diet is closer to the ideal with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, water, and small portions of lean beef or poultry.
The author discusses a trend toward urbanization; wherein, large masses of people must be fed within a predefined land mass. Historically, this problem was dealt with by increasing the supply of organic food through the “Victory Gardens” under President Truman. Today, neighborhoods throughout New York City are experimenting with “Roof Farming” in order to bring cheaper organic foods into the inner cities.
Dr. Chopra discusses increased mortality rates for children under five years of age who are undernourished and underweight in South Asia and the Sub-Sahara Africa. The author doesn’t say so; however, technologies such as water desalination may be utilized along the water boundaries in areas of Africa which abut the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.
Water desalination is closer to commercial feasibility with the advent of solar energy to fuel the desalination plants. Another challenge is to build enough pipeline infrastructure to transport the water on the African continent and Asia.
On Measuring Global Food Crisis is also an important work on the economics of dealing with food scarcity issues globally. The author discusses important negations which restrict global advancement due to the oligopolistic structure of the global food producers. Historically, there have been solutions directed toward communities growing their own food to deal with scarcity and high pricing. In addition, the wealthier countries could help move this process forward by contributing more expertise, food and tax revenues to deal forthrightly with world hunger issues.
Food production has practical implementation issues in advanced countries likeChina. Historically, earthquakes and flooding have been complicating factors for local industry in China. In addition, there has been difficulty in migrating theknow-how from the coastal areas into the rural areas and yurts in the inner parts of China.
Clearly, Dr. Chopra’s analysis must be customized to take into consideration non-standardized approaches toward food production in countries having constraining factors which limit or make more difficult the production of food for the masses. Another important source of food comes from the oceans.
Seafood is a huge potential supply area-particularly for South Asia and the boundary areas of Africa. To fully exploit this option, ocean dumping must be well controlled in order to protect the integrity of the oceans for food production.Powered by Sidelines