Pope Francis said a few months ago that the World War 3 has already begun. Russian president Vladimir Putin is threatening the West almost every other day, which could trigger the World War 3 anytime. The Ukraine crisis continues to escalate as the country moves towards joining NATO. Russia’s ambitions to gain control over the disputed oil-rich Arctic region has put it up squarely against Denmark.
Food crisis could be a precursor to World War 3
Whole world knows the consequences of a nuclear war. So, despite Putin’s aggression, the Ukraine crisis or the Arctic oil dispute may not escalate into the full-fledged World War 3. Mark Koba of Fortune magazine says that the World War 3 could be fought over food. The world is currently facing a massive food crisis. According to the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) about 842 million people in the world are undernourished. One in the four children under the age of are malnourished.
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United Nations and World Bank estimate that, by 2050, there won’t be enough food to feed the world’s population, when the population increases from the current seven billion to nine billion. Some other studies suggest that the food crisis could occur as early as 2030. Severe weather events such as floods and droughts, economic turmoil, and political unrest in developing countries will largely be responsible for the food crisis, says Koba.
Some experts argue that producing more foods could address the crisis. But that’s not as simple as it seems. Stephen Scanlan of Ohio University says that the world needs a shift in the way we address poverty and inequality to address food security. But the food is a big business. Giants like ConAgra, Cargill, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and others are heavily involved in food production around the world.
Too much control in too few hands
This kind of control puts too much control into too few hands. These businesses are motivated by profits. What’s more, the food supplies are at the mercy of a few nations that want to feed their populations at the expense of others. According to Usha Haley of West Virginia University, China is the world’s largest buyer of farmable land. They are acquiring massive resources as China has a huge gap between what they produce and what they consume.
To add worries, the production of inedible products such as fuel from crops is increasing. Crops like soy, corn, sugar are used to create fuels for gas tanks. It takes away food crops from people. Of course, Monsanto says genetically-modified foods are the solution, but it has been widely criticized by many experts. According to World Bank, the world needs to increase food production by at least 50% by 2050 to avoid food shortages.
There is still no clear consensus on how to to end the growing food crisis. Haley says it could lead to even greater disasters. Countries may wage full-fledged war to secure food for their populations.