Overcoming Food, Water and Fuel Crisis in China, Research Paper Example
Words: 2054Research Paper
In the last few decades, the world has witnessed profound changes in the economic and social status of China. In particular, in increasing its capability to offer employment to its citizens and providing education to the youth. This paper reviews China’s new policy on overcoming food, fuel and water crisis. The United Nation’s Development Program’s Millennium Development Goals for the year 2015 include the eradication of life-threatening hunger and poverty, achieving, global and primary levels of education, promoting equality and gender and boosting the status of women in the society, reducing the morality in children, improving the health of pregnant women, combatting diseases such as malaria and AIDS, ensuring sustainability for the environment, and developing an international partnership needed for the development among nations (United Nation’s Development Programs, “Eight Goals for 2015”). Among these, the goals that are applicable to the problems involving food, fuel and water crisis are the assurance to have ecological sustainability and to develop intercontinental conglomerate to achieve the development of the country.
The Food Crisis
The global food crisis is alarming and affecting all parts of the world including China. This problem is an international issue and not just a difficulty that a singular nation should overcome. It has undeniably captured the attention of both global and national leaders as well as the common citizens residing from both developed and under developed countries. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (3), the food crisis features three primary threats to the people. These threats include the moral and humanitarian, developmental and strategic. According to the institution, the humanitarian and moral threats involve millions of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. These people are primarily under the poverty level of the nation, thus worsening their conditions. It was reported that the effect of this crisis is greater among poor children and pregnant women. The developmental threat involves the gains of the economy. Due to these, investments are allocated for the public nutrition and health thus leading to smaller investments on other sectors. Likewise, the threat of this on the strategies of a nation includes the endangered stability of the development of the country. This threat is assumed to be aggravated by the inflation of the price of wheat and fuel. Upon the increase of the prices of these commodities, people lost their capability to buy for their health and nutrition.
Qing and Nadiri (128) discussed that food crisis is encapsulated to the inflation of the prices of food such as grains. According to the authors, the cost of rice, wheat and soybean has significantly increased by 60%, 40% and 40%, in that order. Also, it was revealed that the decrease of the supplies of food will be 25 years lower while the bills of imported food rose by 25% in most developing nations. In fact, the United Nations gave an approximation of an additional one hundred million people who are likely to face hunger in the future. The authors also added that according to the World Food Programme, twenty million of the poorest young people in the world live without a source of food.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (4) discussed that food crisis is driven by different factors. These factors include the 1) inflation of the cost of energy leading to increase of the expenses of the production and transportation of agricultural products, 2) the increase in biofuel production that has an impact on sugar, wheat, maize, cassava, oil seeds, and palm oil markets, 3) the increase in the demands for grains that is higher than the number of supplies leading to international imbalances and decrease in the number of surpluses, 4) the impacts of unpredictable and bad weather that may be due to the changes in the environment and climate, 5) the low investment on the sectors of agriculture and technology among developed countries, 6) the subsidies and tariffs that gravely affect the production of agricultural goods, and 7) old global systems that are intended for the mobilization and deploying of food reliefs and resources.
The Water Crisis
China is one of the top global producers of agricultural products with over 60% of its citizens engaged to this sector. However, the nation suffers from water crisis thus affecting the production performance the industry. According to Cho (par. 2), China suffers from water availability and becomes drier every year. The author discussed that the reserves of freshwater decreases by 13% between the years 2000 and 2009. In fact, severe occurrences of droughts were recorded during the years 2007, 2007 and recently this 2009. For the past 60 years, its province Beijing and other regions from the North and East have been experiencing the worst draught in the country. This natural calamity has resulted to deficiency of water among approximately 2.57 million individuals and 2.79 million livestock animals. It has also affected around 12.57 million acres allotted for wheat production. These impacts have resulted to food crisis which affects the citizens of the country.
With the effect of the climate variability at the present time, the Southern parts of the country have experienced 50% lesser occurrence of rainfall compared to the normal that were recorded for the past decades. This has resulted to the loss of water reservoirs such as rivers and other bodies of water. Around three hundred million Chinese citizens living in the rural regions have no access to potable water while 54% of the rivers in the country are not safe for the consumption of human (Cho, par. 4). According to the author, this crisis is due to different factors including the change in climate, water pollution, inflation of the Chinese population, and coal processing, mining and combustion. Most of these factors are human made and can be resolved with the help of the government.
The Fuel Crisis
Fuel has been one of the primary commodities used by man at the present. For most parts of the world, it has been an expensive product that is widely utilized in numerous industries. Just like any other nations, China is also experiencing fuel crisis due to different factors. Since China has one of the biggest populations in the world, it has also been one of the biggest users of fuel. These energies are used for industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential purposes. Due to the high demands of fuel, it has affected that production of agricultural goods thus leading to higher cost of food. This is one of the causes of food crisis in the country. Other causes of fuel crisis may be due to the failures of the functions of pipelines, monopoly in the fuel market and wrong strategies of the government concerning energy usage.
China has been one of the leading nations that have already taken immediate responses and actions through diverse measures in alleviating these crises. For food crisis, Nadiri and Qing (129) reported that the government has already imposed a prohibition on the exportation of non-Basmati kind of rice, pulses and maize back in 2008. In addition, exportations of wheat had already been banned in the year 2007. China had imposed these bans to make the country a major producer of wheat for other nations. This crisis required an immediate and long term response from each nation’s leaders. The immediate response involves the allocation of sufficient budget that would be utilized on emergency food and financial assistance to cater the expensive bills of imports. This is said to minimize the imbalances on payments incurred by food production.
It is also important that the emergency resolutions can meet the deficits in the supplies of food. This is necessary to solve the problems of starvation and hunger among the citizens of China. The leaders and officials of the government should find ways on investigating the reason behind the inadequacy of the supplies of food in the country. This solution can contribute to the success of the United Nation’s Eight Goals for the year 2015. Also, the government should assess the growth of its population in the next five to ten years. This will help the officials determine the number of people that they need to feed and the amount of production that they need to meet. Since China is known for its reputation in the industry of manufacturing, the country should also focus on enhancing its agricultural sector. The nation should increase the productivity of this sector to meet the requirements of food their citizens need. The modern technology can be a great help for the creation of high yields of various fertilizers, seeds and irrigation that are needed for agricultural production. The improvement in this field is also very significant in the achievement of the millennium goals concerning the health of children and pregnant women. Likewise, the government should also do some reforms on their trade policies. These may include omitting taxes from the sectors of agriculture or providing cheaper transportation routes for the food products.
The Chinese leaders are all aware of the crisis on water. One of their proposed solutions is to desalinate the seawater. In fact, the country has already desalinated 600,000 tons of water every day for human consumption (Cho, par.1 2). The Chinese leaders now must achieve their goal to desalinate around 2.5 to 3 million saltwater by the year 2020 for future use. This production will be beneficial especially during the dry season. In any case, the government should assure that there would be no contamination of other bodies of water during this process. Also, another measure that the government can adopt is to provide necessary trainings and facilities that can improve the irrigations used for agricultural lands. They should provide innovations that can be used by farmers to improve the conservation of water during the production period. This will resolve both problems involving water and food.
For the fuel crisis, it is advisable that the country should have access on modern energy services that help in conservation of fuel. It may be a solar energy or other innovation that will also minimize the carbon footprints of the country. Likewise, it can also help the country to achieve the eight goals established by the United Nations. The country can also adopt long term strategies and policies that would benefit the economy as well as the citizens. Also, it would be very beneficial if the leaders would participate on regular dialogues concerning the sustainability of energy in the presence of climate change and high demands.
Considering Collier’s The Bottom Billion (The Bottom Billion, par. 4), the author stated that those countries that are rich in natural resources are usually the ones that are paradoxically worse than other nations. The author stated that these are consequences of factors including 1) resources cause conflict to the resources, 2) the presence of natural resources may result to the absence of tax from the government thus resulting to the absence of demands for financial accountability from the citizens to the government and 3) people can easily exploit these natural resources thus resulting to Dutch Disease. With this, the government of China should utilize wisely its natural resources in overcoming food, fuel and water crisis. China is indeed rich when it comes to agricultural lands, thus they can easily employ their large population for the production of sufficient food supply. Also, the country is surrounded by large bodies of water making them more capable of getting enough source of water for human consumption.
China’s support for the United Nations Development Program’s advocacy should be strengthened. They should continue strengthening the capacity of the government in eradicating poverty to answer to starvation and hunger, developing the sectors of economy, reduction of greenhouse emissions that may contribute to changes in climate that predispose to water crisis, and providing awareness to the people about the programs concerning environmental sustainability (“China, United Nations Development Program”, par. 7-10).
Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008. A Call for Strategic U.S. Approach to the Global Food Crisis. Web. 2 June 2012.
Cho, R. 2011. How China Is Dealing with Its Water Crisis? Web. Retrieved from <http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/05/05/how-china-is-dealing-with-its-water-crisis/>
Collier, P.2007. The Bottom Billion. Web. 2 June 2012. Retrieved from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bottom_Billion>
Nadiri, S. & Qing, Y. 2012. A Study of the Food Crisis: National and Global Challenges and Fast Food in China. Web. 2 June 2012
United Nations Development Program. 2012. The Millennium Development Goals, Eight Goals for 2015. Retrieved from < http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/mdgoverview/>
United Nations Development Program. 2005. China. Retrieved from <http://www.undp.org.cn/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&catid=10&sid=490&topic=4>
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