Abstract

On a global basis, the available food supplies at present should suffice the dietary needs of everyone if the food were equitably distributed. However, on per caput basis there is an unequal distribution of food among countries and some are chronically/continually deficient in their food supplies. In the developed countries as a whole the per caput food production was maintained at 1.4% during the last fifteen years; in the developing countries it was less than 1% even though growth of total food production was at 3.1%. But the long-term average growth rates are no consolation to consumers who suffer serious hardships during lean years/periods when food production fails to meet the needs. Some countries like India even though have comfortable food reserves yet millions of consumers are unable to have enough food because of their low purchasing power. Therefore, an all out effort to increase food production in the poor and food-deficient countries is a must, but making food available at within-the-reach price is of greater importance if consumer interests of 2/3 of the world’s food consumers dependent on cereals and cereals alone are to be effectively protected. But there is no magic which can balance this see-saw game of food management. How will the world feed three billion additional mouths who will come to the mother earth between now and the turn of the century? The only logical answer is —’ to increase food supplies faster than population growth and with the democratization of material well-being, to bring population growth to a half at a number that is in reasonable balance with the finite resources of this planet’. By conservative estimates, presently demonstrated agricultural technology, if applied to all land now in cultivation, could support a world population of 45 billion. That is three or four times the number at which it is reckoned the population will stabilize in the next century.

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