Invoke all your powers of imagination and fancy a phase in your life when you will have to make do without your regulation rice and pulses. Most of us may not be particularly fond of such bland and Spartan fare when it comes to food , but when you don’t have access to the basics , when the foundation stone itself is laid precariously, how can we possibly have a sturdy imposing high-rise, shining in all its glory. So If you thought “ oh if we don’t have bread, we will eat cake” think again. All access to those magnificent gastronomical delights will be barred if this current demoniacal food crisis is allowed to spread its terror unchecked. But of course, this judgement-day like situation can still be considered a wee bit far-fetched, but there is no harm in sounding out a wake-up call. With the gradual drainage of our global food reserves , it is upto the powers that be to take stock of the situation and come out with concrete and workable solutions, short and long term. Every crisis presents an opportunity , a golden chance to review and rectify various snags and glitches. As the secretary general of UN , Mr. Ban Ki-Moon recently said that the prevailing food crisis offers a ‘huge chance’ to various heads of government around the world to confront the” root problems” of the poor and the deprived.

This current scenario of food crisis should not come across as an astonishing phenomenon. As a matter of fact , it had been impending, lurking in the background , just waiting to rear its ugly head. Due to a combination of myriad reasons , like rise in crude oil prices , climate change , governments formulating defective policies which tended to shift focus from agriculture to mass scale industrialization and urbanization , and an unprecedented increase in demand for food in recent years due to a steady growth in population , all this and many other sundry causes have lead to burgeoning price rise in food. What is precipitating the situation even more is developed as well as developing countries imposing stringent limits on exports , which is a destructive practice , for many poor nations like Cameroon, Morrocco, and many other African nations are heavily dependent on imports for their basic sustenance. Conversion of grains into bio-fuels by developed countries like the U.S.. must be discouraged . With close to a 68 percent increase in the price of rice and wheat from the beginning of the year 2008 , consumers across the globe have resorted to panic hoarding, fearing further price rice. The recent turmoil in financial markets in various developed countries is not helping the situation either.

What we really need is another contemporary version of Green Revolution. India can be a major contributor towards the stabilizing of this present state of disorder. It is within the power of the government to improve the irrigation facilities of this country,, encouraging farmers to make more frequent use of tubewells rather than the redundant canals. Research and development should be prepped up to create more high-yielding variety of crops , which are weather-proof and immune to pests. Technical know-how must be shared rather than keeping it privy. Appropriate monetary policies must be devised to curb the rising rate of inflation. Practical problems faced by farmers need to be addressed, their greviances against the system should be taken into account rather than imposing ultimatums and dictating obsolete policies. Mr. Bush, it is not the most appropriate time to play a blame-game. Someone needs to tell him that he should stop feeling insecure of India’s prosperity, for it is hidden fact that the citizens of his country are copious consumers of food themselves. Time is of the essence and the need of the hour is a collaboration of all developed countries to make the most of the resources that they have to stop this fast-germinating crisis from assuming monstrous proportions.

Sneha Bruha

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