EnglishClub
Home Learn English Teach English MyEnglishClub

Please note that these ESL Forums are NOT part of MyEnglishClub. To post at these ESL Forums please register ↑ first.


Feeding the World

For use with Talking Point worksheets

Moderator: TalkingPoint

Feeding the World

Postby TalkingPoint » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:33 pm

When did feeding the world become a problem?
Feeding everyone in the world has always posed some problems but it was officially recognized in 1974 when the first ever world conference on food was held, in Rome. It was announced that within a decade no child would go to bed hungry. However, it is estimated that one billion people will go to bed on an empty stomach today.

So what has gone wrong?
There are many contributing factors, among which is the fact that there has been too little investment in agriculture for too long. Not only this but the demand for food is increasing as people in developing countries can afford to buy more food than in the past. Furthermore, food crops these days often have to compete with biofuels for agricultural land.

What is in store for the future?
By 2050 the population is predicted to have risen by 33%. This means that the earth will have to provide enough food to feed 9 billion people. Was the 18th century English scholar, Thomas Malthus, right when he predicted that in the end the earth would simply not be able to produce enough food for the ever-increasing human population? Although Malthus’ ideas were accepted by many influential people (including Charles Darwin) they have been somewhat discredited over the years. As the population has increased, so have the levels of food production and the efficiency of farming methods.

What is being done to help the hungry?
In November 2009 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held the first summit on food since 2002. Although many world leaders did not attend there were representatives from approximately 60 countries as well as the leader of the Catholic Church, the Pope. Such summits may serve to raise awareness of world hunger. Indeed, recently agriculture has climbed so far up the global list of priorities that the World bank increased the amount allocated to agriculture by 50%, from 3 billion dollars to 6 billion.

Can investment really help?
Yes, look at Malawi. In 2005 it had to import more than a third of its food but since the introduction of a policy to subsidise the cost of fertilizer for struggling farmers it has turned itself into a very productive country. Nowadays it is able to export over 50% of the food it produces due to the fact that it now grows three times as much maize as it did four years ago. Success stories like this may yet prove Malthus wrong.

Quick Quiz: Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.

1. Feeding everyone in the world has always posed some problems but it was officially recognized in 1974 when the first ever world conference on food was __________ in Rome.

2. It was announced that within a decade no child would go to bed hungry. However, it is estimated that one billion people will go to bed on an __________ stomach today.

3. There are many contributing factors, among which is the fact that there has been too little investment in agriculture for too long. __________ only this but the demand for food is increasing.

4. By 2050 the population is predicted to have __________ by 33%.

5. In November 2009 the __________ Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) held the first summit on food since 2002.

6. Recently agriculture has climbed so far up the __________ list of priorities that the World bank increased the amount allocated to agriculture by 50%.
User avatar
TalkingPoint
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 2:21 pm
Location: England
Status: English Teacher

Return to Talking Point Homework

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests