How consumption is set to outstrip food grain production

Context: Food consumption is outpacing food production. It may prove the Malthus theory correct.

In 1798, British philosopher and economist Thomas Malthus gave a theory. The theory predicted a catastrophe, which is also called “Malthusian catastrophe”. He predicted in his theory that population growth would outpace food production to cause shortages and famine.

His theory was widely criticised at that time for not taking technological developments into consideration. However, it may become a reality in the near future.

What are the indicators that are proving Malthus theory correct?

First, some of the following policy decisions of countries are an indicators of this:

1.) India banned most wheat exports.

2.) Indonesia banned palm oil exports.

3.) Europe is being criticised for its farm-to-fork strategy promoting sustainable farming.

Second, the following findings of the Business Standard analysis are also strong indicators:

1.) The number of moderately or severely food insecure people rose to 30.6 percent in 2020, compared to 22.6 percent in 2014.

2.) In Africa, food insecurity increased from 47.3 percent to 59.6 percent during this period.

3.) The United States Department of Agriculture reported that global consumption of corn, wheat, and rice will outstrip production in the coming year.

However, all these factors may not result in a shortage immediately. A sustained period of production and consumption gap may cause problems. If innovation comes to the rescue this time also, then Malthus’s theory can be proved wrong again.

Source: This post is created based on the article “How consumption is set to outstrip food grain production”, published in Business Standard on 26th May 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF