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Chaitanya Ramisetty

Zenosys Consulting

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What If the World’s Food Supplies Run Out?

What If the World’s Food Supplies Run Out? Will science and technology be our saviour in the years to come.Some people think the next war will be over water resources. But it might be so that it will be about food.

The poor were having too many babies. If this continued, I reckon, the planet would run out of food. Well, there were only nine hundred million humans on the planet once. Now there are about 7 billion. This is expected to rise to 10 billion by mid-century.

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    Apr 13 2013: With the exceptions of sub-Sahara Africa, India, and Bangladesh, many of the world's most populated regions have fallen below replacement fertility rates, thanks to social, economic, or political coercion. China, who instituted a strict one-child policy in 1979, is already below the replacement rate and has been for approximately 20 years. A brief summary: Replacement fertility is the rate required to maintain a population in equipoise with mortality rates.

    Massive technological strides have been made in the medical and agricultural fields. Children and adults are now given access to the latest medical treatments, and farmers are able to increase crop production while utilizing less acreage—factors which ultimately result in lowered child mortality rates and increases a population’s ability to sustain itself. However, many of these advances are not available in the most destitute and overpopulated regions of the world, which, as a result of high infant mortality, results in continued population expansion.

    Robert Malthus, a celebrated political economist and demographer, posited that, if left unchecked, exponential population growth would eventually outpace agricultural production leading to starvation, war, and disease. This scenario is aptly referred to as a “Malthusian Catastrophe”. Malthus went on to conclude that such population booms could be rectified early through moral restraint, and by restricting marriage and reproduction among certain groups, mostly the impoverished.

    While I do agree that population control and the availability of food should be of the utmost concern to everyone, I can’t fathom nations going to war because of it. However, given the current economic trends in many developing countries, I expect that concerns arising from the availability and environmental dangers of energy resources to dominate international political discourse in the present and near future.

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