Sociology 450 Whitepaper on Food Security

 
Assignment 2: Whitepaper on Food Security
Due Week 7 and worth 110 points
The members of the  United Nations found great value in the whitepaper you provided on  population growth. They are now asking you to expand the whitepaper to  include global food security as it relates to population growth and  poverty. Read the overview and provide an assessment based on the  questions below. 
I. Overview            
We  can define global food security as the effort to build food systems  that can feed everyone, everywhere, and every day by improving its  quality and promoting nutritional agriculture (1). That said, there are  certain practices that can advance this project:

Identifying the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition
Investing in country-specific recovery plans
Strengthening strategic coordination with institutions like the UN and the World Bank
Encouraging developed countries to make sustained financial commitments to its success 

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We  must bear in mind that more than 3 billion people—nearly one-half of  the world’s population—subsist on as little as $2.50 a day, with nearly  1.5 billion living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day.  According to the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and  other relief agencies, about 20,000 people (mostly children) starve to  death in the world every day, for a total of about 7 million people a  year. In addition, about 750 million (twice the population of the United  States) do not have access to clean drinking water, meaning that some  one million people die every year from diarrhea caused by water-borne  diseases.
The  earth’s population has grown since it reached 7 billion in 2010. It is  expected to reach 8 billion in 2025, 9 billion in 2040, and 11 billion  by the end of the 21st century (2). If the demand for food is  predicted to rise 50% by 2030 and 70% by 2050, the real problem is not  necessarily growing enough food, but rather making that amount available  to people. Moreover, food illnesses are prevalent, with nearly 600  million reported cases of foodborne diseases each year. These mainly  affect children but can also negatively impact the livelihood of  farmers, vendors, trade associations, and ultimately, can reduce the  Gross Domestic Product (national income) of a country. These issues can  impose tremendous human, economic, social, and fiscal costs on  countries, so addressing them allows governments to devote more  resources to making desperately needed infrastructure improvements that  raise the quality of life for everyone.
It  is not enough to have adequate supplies of food available. Policies  that focus exclusively on food production can exacerbate the problem,  particularly if, to satisfy the need for quantity, the quality of the  food is left wanting. 
Reasons for Food Insecurity
Certainly,  poverty and the contributing systemic internal conditions are the  driving factors behind keeping adequate food resources from reaching  people, but it is only one of several. Others are discussed next. 
Inadequate Food Distribution:  The reality is that there is more than enough food in the world to feed  its people, but the primary cause of famine is not poor weather  conditions as much as it is getting the food to the people who need it  most. Quite often, disruptions in food distribution result from  political instability and poor infrastructure (such as poorly  functioning port facilities, lack of transportation options, and  inadequate road networks). Paradoxically, although the world’s  population is increasing, the amount of potential food available will  increase along with it, due mostly to advances in bio-agricultural  engineering and seed immunity to molds.   
Writing  in the late 18th century, Thomas Malthus warned that the global  population would exceed the earth’s capacity to grow food, in that while  the population would grow exponentially, food production would grow  only arithmetically. Although this theory was proved invalid, its  propagation has unfortunately resulted in some governments rationalizing  political choices that avoid helping the poverty-ridden and starving. 
Political-Agricultural Practices: The  widespread use of microbiological, chemical, and other forms of  pesticides in food continues to be a serious issue throughout the global  food chain. Widespread use of fertilizers also causes illness in  millions of people every year, not only from the food itself, but from  run-off into streams and rivers, contaminating entire water supplies.  The human, social, fiscal, and economic costs of such practices impede  improvements not only in the raising of crops, but in their  distribution. Added to this, the rising demand in developed countries  for biofuels, refined mostly from corn and soybean, reduces the amount  of arable land devoted to producing food. 
The  failure of many farmers in the developing world to rotate their crops  harms the replenishing of nutrients necessary to continue growing crops.  In addition, neglecting to allow land to remain fallow exhausts the  soil, making it much more difficult to raise a decent amount of food per  acre the following growing season.     
Economic Issues:  The fact is, government policies that focus on growing cash crops, for  example, are designed solely to export them to earn foreign exchange.  This may be fine for the government in its effort to earn money, but the  result is that farmers end up growing for foreign markets and not  domestic ones, leading to shortages of necessary staples. Consequently,  the poorest of the population are frozen out of the local markets  because they cannot afford the food that remains to be sold (3).
Civil Strife: Civil  war can interrupt the flow of food from gathering depots, such as  ports, to distribution centers where it can be handed out to people.  During the 1990s, Somalia was particularly hard hit by their civil war,  as clans fought for control of the main port at Mogadishu, which  affected the flow of food to the rest of the population. In this case,  as with many civil wars, whoever controls the supply of food controls  the country. In failed and failing states like Zimbabwe, Congo, Haiti,  South Sudan, Yemen, and Libya, food is very often another weapon used by  one segment of the population against another. 
Sources:
1. Peter Timmer. 2015. Food Security and Scarcity: Why Ending Hunger Is So Hard. Foreign Affairs magazine. 
2. The United Nations Population Division. 2017. World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision. https://www.un.org/development/desa/publications/world-population-prospects-the-2017-revision.html 
3. Will Martin. November 2010. Food Security and Poverty: A Precarious Balance. Let’s Talk Development blog by The World Bank. http://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/food-security-and-poverty-a-precarious-balance 
II. Assessment
The  issue is not the lack of food in the world, but the access to food. In  many developing countries, the food shortage is due to governmental  control over food. These governments maintain control and preference by  limiting access of nutritious food to certain groups, thereby  weaponizing food. 
In  this second assignment, research the impact of poverty on global food  security and the potential technological solutions. Write a minimum of four pages (not including the cover letter) assessing the impact of food insecurity. Select one  country from the United Nations list of developing countries to use as  an example throughout your assessment. The completed version of this  assignment will include the following items: 

Cover page: Include  your name, title of course, name of the developing country you have  chosen from the UN list, current date, and the name of your instructor.
Introduction: Introduce the topic of the whitepaper (half-page minimum). 
One-page (minimum) answers to each of the following questions (for a total of three pages): 
What is food insecurity, and what role does population growth play in it?
What specific factors interrupt the flow of food from the source to the people in the developing country you selected? 
What  forms of technology can be used to reduce hunger and improve food  security? Explain how these technological solutions would work.

Note: Give examples in your responses to each of the above questions as it relates to the developing country you have chosen. 

Conclusion: A one-half page (minimum) conclusion.

Cite  at least five credible sources excluding Wikipedia, dictionaries, and  encyclopedias for your assessment. A brief list of suggested resources  has been provided at the end of the course guide. 
This course requires use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS).  The format is different compared to other Strayer University courses.  Please take a moment to review ​the SWS documentation for details. (Note: You’ll be prompted to enter your Blackboard login credentials to view these standards.) 
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Propose  a plan to address the issue of global food security in underdeveloped  countries that considers the impact of prior solutions. 

Grading  for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization  of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following  rubric:

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