Malthusian hypothesis that human population increases by geometric progression while food increases in arithmetic progression, is an indication that relationship exists between population and food supply. At a point therefore, population will outgrow the supply of food and population growth will stop at one point. Malnutrition, hunger and possibly death will follow to reduce the population to the level the food can cater for.
Starving children of Biafra in late 60’s
Starving Children in Niger
Due to climate, drought, poor agricultural planning, political instability, war, and the mismanagement of natural resources, there were about 820 million undernourished people in the developing world in 2006. Only a small percentage of hunger deaths are caused by starvation. Most hunger-related deaths are the result of chronic malnutrition, which weakens the body’s ability to fight diseases. In 2003, almost 16,000 children were dying from hunger-related causes each day.
Effects of Food Storage
Naturally, some crops are meant to grow in wet season while some few are grown in the dry season. If there is no good storage facilities, distribution of food across the season will be difficult; as there would be a period of plenty of food and another period of food shortage. To strike a balance, storage facilities will make equitable distribution of food and food will be available in required quantities at all seasons. Advantages of food storage include the following:
- Provision of employment opportunities i.e. to workers in processing industries.
- Provision of adequate food supply during period of war and natural disaster.
- Stabilisation of food prices at all season. Equitable distribution of food will prevent unnecessary high demand for food at any time which may lead to like in prices of food.
- It ensures economic use of food by preventing spoilage at time of plenty and adequate supply of food at off-harvest period.
- Provision of foreign exchange to improve the economy of the nation. Food can be used as aids to countries in need as love and donations.
EVALUATION (POST YOUR ANSWERS IN THE BOX BELOW FOR DISCUSSION)
- Name five crops that are produced during the wet season but are scarce during the dry season.
- State two needs for food storage.
State four importance of food storage
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