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INTD 200 (186)

Population, Poverty, and Famine

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International Development
INTD 200
Karen Mc Allister

Population, Poverty, and Famine Food Security/Insecurity - Food insecurity: - Chronic under nutrition  Occurs when there are sig food deficits yr after yr  Micronutrient deficiencies: don’t have enough of certain kinds of foods - Abnormal food shortage (famine)  Usually happens in response to a shock  Drought, flood, econ recession - Links directly to poverty + market relations (econ devel) - “Food security means that food is available at all times; that all persons have means of access to it; that it is nutritionally adequate in terms of quantity, quality and variety; and that is it acceptable within the given culture” Food Insecurity vs. Famine - Chronic under nutrition - High rate of under nutrition in children stunts growth, affects intellectual capacity  Affect future generations, emp opportunities - Chronically inadequate food supplies + under nutrition in rural + urban areas  Related to poverty - Under nutrition = seasonal  Have ppl working on farm right after harvest lots of food, then runs out over year  @times when food shortages, prices go up (harder to buy food) - Food problems of under nutrition not just in marginal lands (arid/semi-arid)  Can also happen in nats that are food exporters  Food goes out of nat b/c responding to market demands in other places - In s/cases, work for food programs try to ameliorate probs w/decreased food produc  Issues of nats where importing lots of food fr/other places  impact produc w/in nat  Decreases prices in nat for what locals are producing - Gender (social identity)  Food not distrib equally in household (site of producing + consuming food)  Who gets access to best/higher quantity of food? Affected by power relations w/in hh  Often women + children in nats that are more patriarchal have less access to food  Partic in case when there are shocks  Looking @average of food insecurity across nat doesn’t tell who in fact is insecure - HIV/AIDS (health)  B/c disease affecting certain part of pop (mostly productive, younger pop of soc) affects ability to work on farms (decrease in production)  Decrease in incentive to invest in longer-term sustainability/production b/c don’t know if going to live past a certain age  Need more food b/c they are sick  Issue of orphans - Certain ppl are food insecure, but not others  more vulnerable to shocks  Gradient: difference b/w food security + famine not very strong line - Lack of agriculture technologies - Debates: - Population growth, environment (Malthus)  Food production in most nats won’t keep up w/pop growth  Famine = check on increasing populations (compensate for growing pops)  Increasing pops + environ degradation = harder to produce food  Challenged: in s/cases, increased pops have also created more ideas about how to grow better/more food, humans have improved environ rather than have negative impact - Failure of peasantry  Small farmers don’t adopt new, modern techs + environ degrading, less productive  Arguments against: ppl found that a lot of small farmers are very productive  Use indig knowl about how to grow food in their specific environ  This argument used to re-allocate land fr/small to larger land holders (biz)  Idea that bigger, capitalist, more tech advanced enterprise is going to be more productive, gives reason to move ppl fr/land - Inappropriate gov policies  If states import food + price it lower than loc-produced food, undermine loc agricul produc  Loc produc discouraged if state pays farmers lower prices for their food in order to help feed ppl in urban centres  Alleviate poverty in s/places but creates disincentives for agricul produc in others  Poor infrastructure (roads), lim access to markets, more focus on urban areas than rural  Lead to issues of production + problems of accessing food in rural areas  A lot of the ppl who become food insecure in sits of shock/under nourished are those who are producing food crops  Lack of investment in agricul - Commodification of agriculture  Increased dependency on market, cash cropping (removes land fr/subsistence produc)  If actually earning more $ + investing it back to ppl  maybe does help ppl  H: depends on how $ fr/these diff ways of using resources are invested in soc  Who gets benefits + who loses through these processes? Trade-offs? Theories/Causes of Famine - Malthusian - Pop would outgrow our capacity to feed the pop - Food Availability Theories (FADs) - Sudden drop in availability of food b/c of disaster (drought, flooding) - Challenged by Sen, not just availability of food, about overall economy - Economics and Entitlements (Sen) - Entitlements (influenced livelihoods approach)  Ability to access food has to be earned  Def: commodities over which ppl can est ownership + command  Ppl suffer hunger when they can’t est entitlement over enough food  What determs hh entitlement?  Endowments: ownership of productive resources, assets (land, labour, capital)  Production possibilities: how you can translate these endowments into entitlements for food (wage labour, opps for emp, techs for produc, knowl)  Exchange conditions: relative prices b/w things you have to offer + how this is exchanged (value relative to food), based on operation of labour markets + exchange condits, overall economy  If price of labour decreases in relation price of food + no social sys helps ppl who are out of work, may not be able to buy food  Starvation among certain gps  Ppl who don’t produce food themselves/don’t own food they produce (wage labourers), ability ge
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