Several leaders at the UN World Food Summit asserted that some of the hunger problems in their countries were not due to a lack of food, but a lack of income possessed by their citizens to afford food. They asserted that this phenomenon is causing not just a hungry world but a violent world fueled on by storefront visions of food by a starving populace unable to afford sustenance. This situation has been caused and fueled on by free trade and capitalism. Many rural inhabitants of poorer countries seeing the bright lights and big cities of their urbanized centers have abandoned their countries old practices of self sufficiency through self production of food and other items and rely heavily on the promise of a job at an urban center and the income to purchase what they may have normally made, or grown in their rural homesteads.
According to John Thavis of the Catholic News Service quoting a paper produced by the Vatican:
“long-standing subsidies to agricultural producers in richer countries have artificially kept down the international price of food products and thus discouraged farming in poorer countries. The result has been large-scale abandonment of local agriculture and increasing urbanization. Today, most poor countries are net importers of food, making them highly vulnerable as prices continue to rise.”
According to Brace Stokes of the National Journal :
“The mindless liberalization mentality at the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and among my fellow economists misses the fact that food is a biological necessity as well as a commodity,” said Peter Timmer, a visiting professor at Stanford University’s Program on Food Security and the Environment.
The world’s developing countries have increasingly started to depend on a steady flow of food from multinational food producers which is at the whim and the mercy of natural forces. Several years ago according to Stokes the assumption of the world was that hunger would be stamped out by world trade and production however due to various reasons the opposite has happened and the world now faces a crisis of starvation.
Stokes, furthermore discusses the fact that the rise in food prices does benefit some poor producers and farmers of food, however turns around and penalizes poor people in the same region who are not food producers.
The solution many people advocate is arming poor people with a hoe and seeds and placing the power of food production and self sufficiency back into the hands of the starving people around the world.
This is just one aspect of the world hunger issue which has many causes.