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Friday, 23 May 2014 06:41

Food Availability Featured

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Food Availability

Poor countries

Food availability refers to sufficient quantities of food that is available on a consistent basis. There are more than one billion people of the world’s population who are chronically hungry.  People tend to go hungry even when food is available because they do not have money to buy it. During Bengal famine that happened in 1943, there were about two to three million people who died due to the fact that there was an economic boom that raised prices above the reach for the poor (Plicher, 2012). Most of the poor population in the world tends to live in 82 countries, which cannot be able to produce enough food that will feed the entire population and these countries also tend to lack financial resources (Yu, et al 2010).

Food distribution in a country tends to ensure that there is high availability, and this is normally dependent on the development of a country. The distribution of food is never considered being even. When focusing on less developed countries, factors that are considered include serious crop failure, rapid population growth and depleted food reserves. Food availability in the poor countries has been affected by the fact that the countries does not have good infrastructure (Plicher, 2012). Most of the poor countries tend to have poor transportation networks. This means that food will not be possible to be transported to isolated parts of the countries.

This is more affected by the fact that the government in the countries is not able to develop good transport links like roads and even railway.Poor transportation networks tend to result to lack of food availability for the population in the poor areas, and it tend to leave this people to depend on subsistence farming that is vulnerable because of the changing climatic conditions. Food that is available in the poor countries is normally provided at a higher price, and it hurt the poor because the poor families in the poor countries tend to spend a lot of their income on food which cannot be compared to what the rich people in rich countries spend.

 Rich countries

Rich countries tend to face food availability problems in the aspect that include supplying food to the remote areas and even the rise in dependence of imported food. Rich countries are well known for wasting of food. Statistics indicate that approximately one third of food purchased in rich countries is never consumed (McCarthy & Walsh 2006). History indicates that the problem that the rich countries are facing is unprecedented food surplus which tend to create a big gap between the poor and the rich countries.Rich countries tend not to have problems with food availability because the government can be able to provide its people with food and access is never a problem. It is estimated that in every year, the rich countries usually waste over 220 million tons of food.

Food availability has never been a problem to rich countries because, since time in history, these countries have adequate harvest techniques hence factors such as poor infrastructure, processing and packaging pre and post harvesting management are never a problem (Plicher, 2012). In case food is destroyed because of environmental factors, these countries usually have food that have been stored that can be used.

 How countries changed

Poor countries have been able to resolve the issue of food availability with the fact that there are aid programs. By receiving aid, the poor countries are able to develop their infrastructure, which has made it possible for food that they are receiving from the rich countries to be accessible to even people in the remote areas. The aid programs are also offering these countries with strategies and equipments that they can use so that to help in reducing food loss (Tansey, 2008). New ways of food production are considered so that to avoid loss of food. Poor countries have always found a problem because of the fact that they produce food, but do not have good storage facilities.

Therefore, when there is drought, they are likely to suffer from starvation because there food has been destroyed due to the fact that there are no good storage facilities.However, foreign organizations are providing these countries with advice and strategies that can be used so that to increase and strengthen the supply chains through diversification of marketing and production of the small farmers. This helps in having direct links with buyers. Investors are also invited to the countries where they invest more in transportation, infrastructure, processing, and packaging. Therefore, the rates of food availability in the poor countries have increased. With help from the Food and Agriculture Organization, it has targeted the poor countries so that to raise the nutrition levels, improving the lives of the rural population, improve agricultural productivity, and this has contributed to the growth of the economy in poor countries (Tansey, 2008).

In those rich countries, consumers tend to buy products that fail to meet the appearance standards as long as they are good and safe. In order to help in reducing the amount of food waste, political initiatives and educations in schools have been encouraged so that to change the attitude of the consumers. This is a strategy that has been implemented, and now the rate of food lost has reduced in number. There have also been strategies where United Nations have invested in post harvest technologies that have helped to reduce food loss and increase the supply of food in sub Saharan Africa. Sub Saharan Africa is estimated to have food loss of about $4 billion in a year, and this is food that would be used to feed about 48 million people (Morris, 2012).

Through the use of the technology, it has helped in eradicating the problem of food availability in most of the poor countries.In order to ensure that there is food availability in the poor countries; governments have considered using storage containers, metallic silos, and even hermetically sealed bags. These are strategies that have been successful in Asia and it is possible for Africa to benefit a lot from the practices. Governments have considered developing infrastructures so that to help in avoiding food loss and to facilitate the commercialization of food, water, and electricity so that to process food.  When people buy food that has been processed in their own country, its availability is cheaper than when they have to purchase food that has been imported. This is a strategy that has helped many countries both rich and poor to improve their economy and also develop as there is easy access of food.


McCarthy, D & Walsh, F (2006). The irony of a rich country Journal epidemiol community health 60 (12)

Morris, N (2012). Developing countries hit hardest by food rises retrieved fromhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/developing-countries-hit-hardest-by-food-rises-8022717.html

Plicher, J (2012). The Oxford handbook of food history Oxford University Press

Tansey, G (2008). The future control of food Routledge Publishing

Yu, B You, L &Fan, S (2010). Towards a typology of food security in developing countries International food policy research institute


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