Although the world produces more than double the amount of food to feed everyone, around one billion people suffer from hunger.
Photo: J. Boethling

24.08.2012

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Organic farming is not going to succeed in feeding the world’s growing population, its critics say. This is wrong, our author maintains, for there are numerous studies that refute the notion that conventional agriculture turns out higher yields in all circumstances. Moreover, increases in production levels achieved over the last few years have not been able to solve the problem of hunger either.

Ever since economist Thomas Malthus wrote ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ in 1798 and first raised the spectre of overpopulation, various experts have been predicting the end of human civilisation because of mass starvation. Malthus predicted that human society would starve in the 1800s.

The theme was again popularised by Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 book, ‘The Population Bomb’. According to his logic, we should all be starving now that the 21st century has arrived. ‘The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines; hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.’

The only famines that occurred since 1968 have been in countries saddled with corrupt governments, political turmoil, civil wars and periodic droughts. The world had enough food for the affected people.

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