The challenge of food scarcity

Share via Print In the countries coloured green, water use for producing export commodities exceeds the water use behind imported products net virtual water export. In the countries coloured yellow to red, the opposite is true net virtual water import. The thickness of the arrows represents the comparative quantity of water being traded. Figure reproduced with permission from ref.

The challenge of food scarcity

Early history In the midnd century BC, a sudden and short-lived climatic change that caused reduced rainfall resulted in several decades of drought in Upper Egypt. The resulting famine and civil strife is believed to have been a major cause of the collapse of the Old Kingdom.

An account from the First Intermediate Period states, "All of Upper Egypt was dying of hunger and people were eating their children. The only records obtained are of violence between Portuguese and Africans during the Battle of Mbilwa in In these documents the Portuguese wrote of African raids on Portuguese merchants solely for food, giving clear signs of famine.

Additionally, instances of cannibalism by the African Jaga were also more prevalent during this time frame, indicating an extreme deprivation of a primary food source. A notable period of famine occurred around the turn of the 20th century in the Congo Free State.

Retired Site | PBS Programs | PBS

In forming this state, Leopold used mass labor camps to finance his empire. The introduction of cash crops such as cottonand forcible measures to impel farmers to grow these crops, sometimes impoverished the peasantry in many areas, such as northern Nigeria, contributing to greater vulnerability to famine when severe drought struck in In Ethiopia it was estimated that as much as 90 percent of the national herd died, rendering rich farmers and herders destitute overnight.

This coincided with drought associated with an el Nino oscillation, human epidemics of smallpoxand in several countries, intense war. The Ethiopian Great famine that afflicted Ethiopia from to cost it roughly one-third of its population.

Records compiled for the Himba recall two droughts from to They were recorded by the Himba through a method of oral tradition.

From to the Himba described the drought as "drought of the omutati seed" also called omangowi, which means the fruit of an unidentified vine that people ate during the time period.

The challenge of food scarcity

From to87 per cent of deaths from famine occurred in Asia and Eastern Europe, with only 9. Although the drought was brief the main cause of death in Rwanda was due to Belgian prerogatives to acquisition grain from their colony Rwanda.

The increased grain acquisition was related to WW2. This and the drought causedRwandans to perish. It is estimated that 1.

Additionally, drought and other government interference with the food supply caused thousand Africans to perish in Central and West Africa. The Ethiopian famine of that time was closely linked to the crisis of feudalism in that country, and in due course helped to bring about the downfall of the Emperor Haile Selassie.

The Sahelian famine was associated with the slowly growing crisis of pastoralism in Africa, which has seen livestock herding decline as a viable way of life over the last two generations. A girl during the Nigerian Civil War of the late s. Pictures of the famine caused by Nigerian blockade garnered sympathy for the Biafrans worldwide.

Famines occurred in Sudan in the lates and again in and The famine in KaramojaUganda was, in terms of mortality rates, one of the worst in history.

This caused famine because even though the Sudanese Government believed there was a surplus of grain, there were local deficits across the region.

A primary cause of the famine one of the largest seen in the country is that Ethiopia and the surrounding Horn was still recovering from the droughts which occurred in the mid-late s. Ultimately, over 1 million Ethiopians died and over 22 million people suffered due to the prolonged drought, which lasted roughly 2 years.

This coincided with a massive drought, causing overSomalis to perish. That said, many African countries are not self-sufficient in food production, relying on income from cash crops to import food. Agriculture in Africa is susceptible to climatic fluctuations, especially droughts which can reduce the amount of food produced locally.

Other agricultural problems include soil infertilityland degradation and erosionswarms of desert locustswhich can destroy whole crops, and livestock diseases.

AI for Agriculture Summit

Desertification is increasingly problematic: In Sudan at the same date, drought and economic crisis combined with denials of any food shortage by the then-government of President Gaafar Nimeiryto create a crisis that killed perhapspeople—and helped bring about a popular uprising that overthrew Nimeiry.

Numerous factors make the food security situation in Africa tenuous, including political instability, armed conflict and civil warcorruption and mismanagement in handling food supplies, and trade policies that harm African agriculture. An example of a famine created by human rights abuses is the Sudan famine.

AIDS is also having long-term economic effects on agriculture by reducing the available workforce, and is creating new vulnerabilities to famine by overburdening poor households.Find facts and statistics about water and water scarcity and learn about the effects of the lack of access to clean water.

If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade. The Global Food Challenge Explained in 18 Graphics by Janet Ranganathan - December 03, Comments | Add Comment | Print.

Basic Economics: Scarcity and Choices Part 1

Tweet. A farmer walks her cow through paddies in Bangladesh. Photo credit: jankie, Flickr. This post is part of WRI's blog series, Creating a Sustainable Food Future. The series explores strategies to sustainably feed. About Microsoft Azure for Research.

Whether it’s a computer with more memory, a cluster with thousands of cores, a big data platform, an internet of things solution, or open-source machine learning at scale, you can achieve more using the cloud. Born with the belief that continuous innovation in agriculture is the only way to sustainably feed nine billion people by , the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture has emerged as a global authority on sustainable food production, driving innovation through exhibitions and conferences across the world.

A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government regardbouddhiste.com phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased regardbouddhiste.com inhabited continent in the world has experienced a period of .

Touch Choices: Facing the Challenge of Food Scarcity by Lester R. Brown