Topic: General Studies 2:
- Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
COVID-19: A threat to food security
The economic disruption caused by pandemic & the lockdown is still unfolding (IMF has already declared global recession). Supply chains are disrupted – especially the ones related to food. If not cooperated at global level, this could lead to shortage of food for millions
Do You Know?
- Currently 113 million people experience acute hunger in the world
- One in every 9 people in the world is undernourished.
- Goal 2 of SDGs seeks to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030
Has the pandemic led to food insecurity?
- No, as of now the countries have sufficient stocks to deal with food needs of people
- Essentials like milk (Amul Cooperative) and food grains supply chains are working fine
- However, there has been anecdotal reports of crowded supermarket sieges from some parts of the world
What can be the future problems associated with global food security?
- Labour shortages may impact the harvest of upcoming produce leading to shortages
- Shortage of fertilizers, veterinary medicines and other input could also affect agricultural production.
- Closures of restaurants diminishes the demand for fresh produce and fisheries products, impacting small & marginal farmers that has long term consequences on Urban areas
- Food processing sector will face difficulties due to shortage of working capital and workers
- Countries adopt restrictive trade measures to safeguard their own national food security
- Restricted trade practices will lead serious disruptions in the world food market resulting in increased price volatility & price hikes.
- Low-income food-deficit countries will be the worst hit in cased of restrictive global food markets, thus precipitating humanitarian crisis (hunger deaths)
- Avoid restrictive trade practices by National governments
- Transparency: Information on prices, production, consumption and stocks of food should be made available to all in real time.
- Ensuring global markets function normally as it is needed for smoothening supply and demand shocks across countries and regions.
- Proactive role by international organisations like FAO to contain unwarranted panic behaviour in global food markets.
- Any disruptions to food supply chains will intensify both human suffering and the challenge of reducing hunger around the world
- Globally coordinated and coherent response is thus needed to prevent this public health crisis from triggering a food crisis in future
Connecting the dots:
- Democratic nature of International Organisation
- FAO’s Food Price Index