FARE 1300 Chapter 2 Readings

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University of Guelph
Food Agricultural and Resource Economics
FARE 1300
Julio Mendoza

Highincome countries overnutrition is the biggest problemThird world countries undernutrition is the biggest problem o Exacerbated by secondary nutrition malnutrition stemming from causes such as diseaseChapter 2 FAMINESFairly small part of the world food problemFamines localized temporary and severe food shortages o Result of confluence of forces natural disaster and poor policy response o In countries where undernutrition is a serious and common problem it does not take much of a natural disaster to create a famineIrish Potato FamineSpurred a wave of Irish emigration to the United StatesPoverty prevalent in rural areas23 of population depended on agriculture Trapped labor in agricultural sector o As a result Irish agricultural worked were about half as productive as the BritishA third of households depended on potatoes for food o Low cost grown in poor soil rich in nutrients and yield high number of calories o Irish poor amongst the tallest healthiest and most fertile population in EuropePotato diet o Foundation for low wage agriculture o Cheap food exported from Ireland in turn fueled the industrial revolution in BritianPotato blight fungus that causes potatoes to turn black and rotten as they grown in the groundPolicy responses o TechnologyBoard of scientific experts to draw conclusions about how to save potatoes that had been infected by the blightRecommendations complex chemical procedures requiring materials and training unavailable to the starving Irish massesProgram offered little hope of success o TradeSubject of intense ideological debatePolicy of minimal government intervention in marketsONE HAND Famine provided the impetus for repeal of the Corn Laws that restricted imports of food into IrelandOTHER HAND Exports of food from Ireland continuedEven if exports had been prohibited Ireland lacked sufficient food to stave off famine o Policies
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