In early 2017, the UN declared that more than 20 million people were at risk of famine in four countries viz:Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. These crises were largely manmade, the result of violent conflict and internal strife that were preventing people from accessing food and clean water and keeping aid organizations from reaching people in need. It is estimated that there are only about 10 percent who have enough to eat; the remaining population either manages to eke out a living or belongs to the middle zone.
On the other hand, it is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. 40% of the fruits and vegetables, and 30% of cereals that are produced are lost due to inefficient supply chain management and do not reach the consumer markets. It is said that if food-production can be boosted to rise by 26% then only, a major food catastrophe can be averted in countries who are facing acute food shortage. But the question is whether it is possible to do that.
Currently, it is said that little over 37% of the world land surface is suitable for agriculture purpose, of which some percentage is is tilled while some is used as pasture. The remainder is either too hilly or too rocky and, at other places, the climate is either too cold or too dry. Hence, those learned experts who suggest to bring more land under cultivation by cutting the forests do not realise the environmental destruction and the ecological imbalance it would cause.
There is, therefore, a hard dilemma. If more land is brought under cultivation or new agricultural technology is used, the environment is damaged and if this is not done, then millions of people face the starvation threat. The solution thus lies only in reducing the race of population growth but, in that case, the world faces other dilemmas. If artificial means of birth control, such as abortion or the use of certain pills are adopted, then there is a risk of its harmful effects on the body, besides other social and moral problems it leads to. If artificial methods are not used and, instead, the people are asked to observe self-control, then there are the attitudinal barriers. So, one comes to the conclusion that unless the attitudes and life styles of people are changed and are based on values, the situation would remain unresolved.