Economics of Hunger
- 18 Sep 2022
Hunger is a word utilized in a multi-dimensional context. In the previous century, people had short-lived lives due to the persistence of hunger and the dearth of adequate food for sustenance. As per the definition of the World Food Programme, Undernourishment refers to the situation in which the person is unable to intake minimum calories to carry out basic psychological requirements. Malnutrition is the inability to consume adequate or sufficient amounts of proteins and other nutrients.
As far as economics is concerned, the emerging economies and other developing nation states must focus on adopting a more sustainable system for the production as well as the distribution of food. Food systems have evolved unsustainably and have led to the creation of disharmonies such as malnutrition, obesity, outbreak of pandemic and zoonotic scares. It was declared in October of 2021 that zoonotic diseases could spread faster than ever. The realization of the true cost of food will enable the policy makers to price in the effects of climate change, environmental degradation as well as the health conditions such as malnutrition and obesity on productivity.
In the current scenario, it is observed that Climate Change, outbreak of the pandemic as well as inflation has dramatically unfolded the gate to food shortage. The price of food commodities are soaring and can be effectively witnessed through the inflated price of rice, which is currently touching 12 month highs. The inflation of food prices are contributed by the increment in the price of energy as well as the fertilizers. It can be analyzed that the sudden shoot up was also due to the Russia-Ukraine War. Several countries across the world have banned the exports, foreseeing the acute food shortage in 2023.
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- Shreya Cherian