Man is constantly trying to use technology to intensify food production. To what extent is technology the answer to world hunger. Using of technology to intensify food production includes choosing seeds of better qualities, using modern irrigation methods and using chemicals such as fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides to increase the outputs of crop fields because plants become more restricted to dry seasons, insects as well as famers are able to grow more rounds of crops in a year.
This also includes using of modern machines like tractors and harvesters to reduce the number of man power needed working in crops fields, this increase the productivity in food production. This intensification in food production help reduce the world hunger and try to keep everyone’s calorie intake above the average, 2586 kilocalories per person daily. I agree that technology is the answer to world hunger to a certain extent.
High Yielding Varieties(HYVs) improved breeds of rice, wheat and other cereals developed by crossing-breeding a broad range of cereal strains. They have valuable traits such as pest resistance or faster growth duration compared to normal cereals. For example, IR58’wonder rice’ which has shorter growing period is resistant to pests and diseases. Using HYVs, China’s rice output was more than doubled from 1961 to 1992. Also, modern irrigation is introduced as a modern technology to intensify food production.
Irrigation is the practice of supplying water to the land through artificial means which enable farmers to control the amount of water supplied to crops. It helps land to be fertile and maintain flooded conditions, no longer need to depend on rain or crops can be grown, thus a higher yield is achieved. Besides, chemicals such as fertilisers help to add nutrients to the soil to encourage growth of crops. Toxic chemicals can be used to destroy pests which may affect crop growth.
Use of fertilisers may result in growth of weeds, so herbicides could be used to remove these weeds, instead of removing by hand which maybe time consuming. Therefore, technology help reduce world hunger effectively as it increases countries’ self-sufficiency in food supplies, decreases famines and brings greater prosperity for farmers. I disagree that technology is the answer to world hunger to a certain extent. The increase intensification in food production can lead to an oversupply of food crops which tend to lead to low prices, thus affecting farmer’s income.
Besides, modern technology benefits mainly the rich famers because only they can afford the cost. There is also required purchase of intensified inputs of fertilisers and pesticides which was not heavily required before. This widened the gap between the rich and poor farmers. For example, in India, there is a rising phenomenon of farmers committing suicide because they are unable to pay off their debts incurred from purchase of HYVs and its associated inputs like fertilisers.
Moreover, use of mechanization to cope with the increase in production has also displaced some farmers from their jobs. Therefore, use of modern technology does to quite answer world hunger because it does not help the poor farmers, but indeed, it worsens the situation of world hunger among the poor. In conclusion, technology is the answer of world hunger in DCs as it can afford the cost of modern technology and thus benefit from the increase in productivity which provides them sufficient food to feed their people.
However , in LDCs which do not have enough money to buy the modern facilities, the poor farmers even suffer more from the widened gap between the rich and the poor as well as the low prices caused by oversupply of crops. Due to competition with the rich farmers, the poor farmers in LDCs earn less and some of their farms are even bought by the rich farmers as they are unable to pay off their debts, worsening the situation of world hunger. Therefore, only in DCs, technology is the answer to world hunger.
January 9, 2018
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