While there are many issues concerning world food supplies, I will concentrate the efforts here on two main issues. The idea of a country having a surplus of food in one region and starvation in another region brings up the idea that transportation is a major problem in some areas.
The concepts of new plant technologies greatly widen the areas in which food supplies can be grown and the number of crops that can be harvested from them. These issues are of great importance, but should not overshadow other equally important issues. As an example, let’s look at the country of Kenya, while they possess a veritable Eden of growing areas they are currently suffering from starvation in some areas. The question of why has a simple answer. The food grown in the rich fertile areas is not being transported to the regions that need it desperately.
This poor transportation of food stems partly from the poor roads and road maintenance which exists and partly from the political turmoil which should be funding the trucks and personnel to get the food to these people. The United Nations has entered the scene and is trying to get the funding appropriated correctly for these efforts, but they are meeting heavy resistance from the current president and his people. The Kenyan climate is perfect for growing all year round and there should be no reason for the lack of food in a region except for the special cases, such as flooding or other natural disasters. The flooding is the cause for this years problems, although much of the country celebrated a bountiful harvest. Just as this example shows much of the food supply problems come from the unavailability of food in one area, which could be easily corrected by supplying food from nearby regions who have not suffered and who are quite willing to help in many cases.
The main obstacle is convincing local governments that this is necessary and prudent action. The other issue will be that of newer plant technologies, by this I mean genetically engineered plants which are disease-resistant and high yield. Many of today’s Plant Pathologists are working hard and coming up with great strains of hybrids which can resist pest and are disease resistant, which in turn cuts the amount of effort put forth in pest management. They are also working with strains of plants which will improve the annual yield of each plant. The downside here is that many of the funding institutions and money holders want to improve the yield of popular crops such as tomatoes instead of the staple crops like rice, corn, and wheat. Unfortunately these are being over looked for great enhancements by crops which are the big money crops.
As usual he who has the money wants more of it, which leaves out many of the smaller institutions for the research capability despite their willingness to make a change. If we as a world population could change just these two issues there would less of a problem with world hunger and the dispersion of food to those who need it desperately. And those remaining would be closer to an answer for their problems.