Monday, 28 January 2013

Food shortages And Poverty in India

Poverty in India is widespread, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world's poor. In 2010, World Bank stated, 32.7% of the total Indian people fall below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 per day (PPP) while 68.7% live on less than US$ 2 per day.[1]
According to 2010 data from the United Nations Development Programme, an estimated 37.2% of Indians live below the country's national poverty line.[2] A 2010 report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)
states that 8 Indian states have more poor people than 26 poorest African nations combined which totals to more than 410 million poor in the poorest African countries.[3][4]

According to a new poverty Development Goals Report, as many as 320 million people in India and China are expected to come out of extreme poverty in the next four years, while India's poverty rate is projected to drop to 22% in 2015.[5] The report also indicates that in Southern Asia, however, only India, where the poverty rate is projected to fall from 51% in 1990 to about 22% in 2015, is on track to cut poverty in half by the 2015 target date.[5]

The latest UNICEF data shows that one in three malnourished children worldwide are found In India, whilst 42 percent of the nation's children under five years of age are underweight. It also shows that a total of 58 percent of children under five surveyed were stunted. Rohini Mukherjee, of the Naadi foundation-one of the NGO's that published the report-stated India is "doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa,".[6]

The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report places India amongst the three countries where the GHI between 1996 and 2011 went up from 22.9 to 23.7, while 78 out of the 81 developing countries studied, including Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi, succeeded in improving hunger condition.[7]

Food shortages

The world’s population could become all but vegetarian by the year 2050 because of water shortages and a spiralling population, scientists have warned.

At present, humans consume around 20 per cent of their protein from animal-based products. But research from some of the top water scientists in the world suggests this will have to drop to five per cent by the year 2050 to feed the extra 2 billion people who are

expected to be alive.

Animal protein-rich food uses five to ten times more water than a vegetarian diet. Scientists have also proposed eliminating waste and increasing trade between countries as other solutions to the possible crisis of water scarcity limiting food production.

“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report, called by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.

"There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5% of total calories and considerable regional water deficits can be met by a … reliable system of food trade, “ continues the reports, called ‘Feeding a thirsty world: Challenges and opportunities for a water and food secure world'.

"Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase," they said.

"With 70% of all available water being in agriculture, growing more food to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 will place greater pressure on available water and land.
"The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources, at a time when we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand – which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years – and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it," said the report.

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