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Is population growth risking our food security?

Is population growth risking our food security? thumbnail

In 1830, the world population was only 1 billion. It took 100 years for this number to double. But within a span of only 30 years, in 1960, global population reached 3 billion. Since then, the world population estimate started to spike exponentially, and it took hardly 15 years to reach the 4 billion mark, by 1975. The global population reached 6.8 billion in 2009, and it is estimated to reach 9.1 billion in 2050—with an increase of 47 percent over this period—showing an average addition of approximately 82 million people every year since 1930. This pace of increase is naturally disconcerting for social scientists and demographers globally.

We also have statistical evidence showing that 80 percent of the total population of the planet comes from lower-income countries in Asia and Africa, and the growth rate of these countries is also comparatively higher than that of the developed nations. Demographic pressure and poverty go hand in hand. The question is, why is the population of the underdeveloped nations increasing so rapidly compared to the developed nations? We also have to keep in mind that the worldwide growth rate of population at 1.8 percent does not apply to people living in rural areas and those living in urban slums and low-cost areas in the Third World countries. Although the overall population growth throughout the world as well as in a few developing countries decreased considerably in the recent past, this trend of slower growth has not been seen in many poor and underdeveloped countries.

In fact, most of these countries have already been overburdened with excessive population pressure and its concurrent economic pressure. For example, Bangladesh has a total population of 165 million living in an area of 147,570 sq. km. As such, it remains the most densely populated country in the world, facing tremendous pressure on agricultural land and settlement. Although the economy recorded a sizable growth due to government initiatives in the last few years, there are reasons to fear that the country will not be able to attain its wider development goal unless its demographic pressure is not overcome through appropriate social and human development. It may not be able to show real progress unless it attends to other indicators of development, such as environmental protection, healthcare facilities, decreasing pollution, minimising the income gap, etc. Economist Amartya Sen argues that development entails a set of linked freedoms relating to social and human progress and rights which are essential elements of real development. That makes it imperative for all countries of the world, including the Third World nations of Asia and Africa, to pay equal attention to the social crisis besides the economic one.

In the coming days, food crisis and economic hardship for these countries may reach a critical point. In a recent report, it has been mentioned that due to desertification, cropland loss, water scarcity, and resource depletion, food production throughout the world could be as much as 25 percent less than the projected demand for it by the year 2050. Another report estimates that the demand for food is expected to increase by 60 percent by 2050. The reason for this is undeniably the population growth. There are multifarious effects of a fast population growth and the most noticeable victim of it is the agricultural sector. Since land is the principal source of food production, it is directly affected by population pressure, which is also true for a country like Bangladesh.

The richest countries of Europe, the United States and Canada have a growth rate of less than 1 percent while the growth rate in the African countries still continues at 2.4 percent. We know that world population is increasing at the rate of 1.2 percent, yet the doubling time for population growth in many underdeveloped nations is estimated to be 25-37 years. In 1930, Bangladesh had a population of 35.5 million. It reached 153.5 million in 2008, despite the fact that the country has succeeded enormously in reducing its birth rate. The Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was reportedly terrified at the prospect of a huge demographic pressure on his country. In a speech in 1972, he expressed his concern over this matter and warned by saying that “if we are not careful, our population might reach 150 million in future, creating enormous problems in terms of our food and nutrition.” Now, we have already crossed that mark, creating an unsustainable environment for us all. This also goes for many other Third World countries. It is believed that many of these countries will face immense problems in terms of managing their food and nutrition intake, if the population increase is not halted immediately.

When the global population continues to increase at an abnormally high rate, it is obvious that there would be demand for more food for the survival of people. To feed such a large population, we would be left with only two alternatives: i) to bring more and more uncultivable land, forest and hills under cultivation which would further reduce our unused land resources; or ii) to increase our food productivity by cultivating the same plot of land repeatedly through a massive use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and underground water by employing deep-tube wells and shallow tube wells, which would put a tremendous strain on the ground water table.

It so happens that people sometimes get unrealistically inspired by the cornucopian viewpoints about agricultural growth being supported by high technology which, they believe, can be effective in reducing hunger and malnutrition. Despite the increase of food production through technification of agriculture, we must think about the catastrophic destruction of our valuable land. Today, we hardly think about the destruction of land fertility and damage to soil which occurs due to overuse of chemical fertilisers and modern forms of extensive irrigation. The bottom-line is, if we want a better life free from diseases and with proper access to food and nutrition, we have to keep our population size at an optimum level. This has to be the priority going forward.

the daily star



20 Comments on "Is population growth risking our food security?"

  1. makati1 on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 7:12 pm 

    “Is population growth risking our food security?”

    Short answer: NO! Capitalist “growth” is killing us. If priories were shifted to producing and distributing food intelligently and economically, there would be plenty for all for a long time. BUT, greedy, for profit capitalism, is killing everything we need to live: air, land, water, and intelligence.

    The ecosystem is being destroyed so we can waste what is not necessary and then complain that there is not enough necessities, like food. Hypocrisy big time! The US leads the way to destruction.

    Think about that today and stop believing the garbage spewed by the MSM and the elite who would like to cull the herd by billions. The old adage: “Waste not – Want not” should be taught as it will be THE motto for all Amerikans soon.

  2. JuanP on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 7:17 pm 

    Mak, the P’s has a 100MIL people in a place the size of Arizona. There is definitely a risk to food security. You are blind and delusional to this real threat. Get a grip you are in the cross hairs with your cheap retirement.

  3. Davy on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 8:14 pm 

    Why do you care so much about makato juanPee? Your Miami Beach USA is way worse then the Ps ever was.

  4. makati1 on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 8:48 pm 

    The Philippines has a 12 month per year growing cycle. That means maybe 3 crops a year and more. Not to mention there is many hundreds of square kilometers of unused land that could be put to agriculture if needed. Not needed now. The Philippines down not need to import coffee, chocolate, wine, meats, fish, etc as it is all available here.

    I would be more worried if I were you because the US has a deteriorating, one crop, climate that is becoming so erratic, farming is like going to a Trump casino for a living. Thousands of US farms will close because of this flu and they will never come back. Food prices will explode. Wait and see.

    If you like eating grains for the rest of your life, you might survive. But forget meat of any kind. Only the wealthy will be able to afford it.

  5. supertard madcat your comment is based on SCIENCE-19 thank you for ur invention face DIAPER-19 to help us stay safe CONVICT-19 on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 9:14 pm 

    makati1 on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 8:48 pm

    The Philippines has a 12 month per year growing cycle. That means maybe 3 crops a year and more. Not to mention there is many hundreds of square kilometers of unused land that could be put to agriculture if needed. Not needed now. The Philippines down not need to import coffee, chocolate, wine, meats, fi</h1

  6. Davy on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 10:19 pm 

    Your lucky you moved when you did mak. America has become isolated on the world stage. It’s real hard to get out now. It will likely be even harder to get out in the future. You made a good decision.

  7. Abraham van Helsing on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 4:34 am 

    “If you like eating grains for the rest of your life, you might survive. But forget meat of any kind. Only the wealthy will be able to afford it.”

    I started my life in the fifties/sixties on a single small piece of minced meat on Saturday only. No need for meat to be happy or healthy.

    Grain btw is inferior food, the best is raw, uncooked food. Nuts, fruit, salads, dates, figs, funghi, that kinda stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXMQoQ89Vr8

    Grain is used in northern latitudes because, unlike the Ps, there is only one growing season and without freezers you can’t keep fresh food. But bread and pasta is second rate food.

    Oh wait…

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/glowing-dutch-greenhouse-photos

    Problem solved!

  8. zero juan on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 5:12 am 

    night time with the lunatic:

    Davy said Your lucky you moved when you did mak. America has…

    supertard madcat your comment is based on SCIENCE-19 thank you for ur invention face DIAPER-19 to help us stay safe CONVICT-19 said makati1 on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 8:48 pm The Philipp…

    FamousDrScanlon said Alzheimer van helsing, take a deep breath and repe…

    Davy said Why do you care so much about makato juanPee? Your…

    REAL Green said We miss juanPee real bad Dr Scanlon. It’s all we t…

    FamousDrScanlon said davyskum child, you are in and out of a delusional…

    supertards pls change ur underware after 5 days or CONVICT-19 gona enter ur peen and kill u said this statement is based on SCIENCE-19 please love…

  9. boff on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 6:26 am 

    ”We also have to keep in mind that the worldwide growth rate of population at 1.8…”

    ”We know that world population is increasing at the rate of 1.2 percent…”

    No, the population growth rate in the world 1,05 % in year 2020.

  10. More Davyskum sock puppetry ID theft and lunacy on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 7:07 am 

    dAVEEEE on Sat, 11th Jul 2020 7:17 pm

  11. supertard madcat thanks for invention of face DIAPER-19 Filipinos starve as President Duterte vows not to ease the world's longest lockdown on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 7:16 am 

    please love supremacist muzzies more
    please help stem growth of CONVICT-19 with face DIAPER-19

  12. Sissyfuss on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 9:05 am 

    Talking about Bangladesh without mentioning was level rise is like talking about Trump without mentioning narcissism.

  13. Richard Guenette on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 1:40 pm 

    People can survive on one or two meals a day. The problem is waste and misuse of food.

  14. Richard Guenette on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 1:52 pm 

    People can survive on one or two meals a day. The problem is with people like live in Soth America who waste and misuse of food.

  15. Davy on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 5:03 pm 

    People can survive on Coors light and grass soup. The problem is with people like live in America who waste and misuse of food.

  16. The board on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 5:38 pm 

    We went over to the moderated side and we found this dumbass naked comment without any content. It seems the low IQ individual posted this for appearances:

    Re: Opening Up the Economy Pt. 3
    Unread postby JuanP » Sun 12 Jul 2020, 16:37:16

    “With COVID-19 vaccine almost ready, Russia intends to create special version – just for kids.”
    https://www.rt.com/russia/494490-russia … s-vaccine/

  17. JuanP on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 5:39 pm 

    People can survive on Coors light and grass soup. The problem is with South American people like me who live in America who waste and misuse of food.

  18. Harquebus on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 5:48 pm 

    I have posted this a few times here already over the years. Authored by me.

    http://theaimn.com/depopulate-or-perish/

  19. REAL Green on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 6:00 pm 

    “People can survive on Coors light and grass soup.”

    We done that fer years. That’s why are brain is all mushy.

  20. makati1 on Sun, 12th Jul 2020 6:12 pm 

    “People can survive on Coors light and grass soup.”

    We done that fer years. That’s why are brain is all mushy.

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