The problem of food is not a problem created by the poor, it is a problem created by the rich. Had there been no rich corporates under capitalism, the poor farmers would not suffer any food crisis.
Green revolution brought in technology to yield better food, yet the food crisis is not solved, and the reason is political agenda of the rich countries who do not want to empower small farmers to stay self-sustained but to perpetuate their dependency on the rich countries. Poverty thus is a profitable business of the rich and a control mechanism to keep the masses tamed.
Africa has the lion’s share of the world’s hungry (over half) but also has the lion’s share of arable land (over 65%). According to some UN officials the daily death due to hunger in the world is equivalent to sixty jumbo jets crashing each day. Yet these deceased souls are not in media’s breaking news.
The International Financial Institutions controlled by USA and Europe have forbade African governments from subsidizing their own farmers if they are to receive any loans. On the other hand these rich countries (USA, Europe) were paying $260 billion (in 2007) is support to their own farmers. This tells us how ‘food’ is an anti-poor business by these institutions and rich governments. “Food for development” became an industry for those capitalist culprits.
In 2002, George Bush signed the Farm Bill subsidizing American farmers pulling in the process millions of Africa’s small farmers into the poverty trap when they could not compete with cheap American food imports.
I think with such actions, Bush was answering himself the question he raised at the time of 9/11, “Why they hate us?”
Bretton Wood organizations triumph when there are food crisis and people dying. That gives them rationale to keep the business of profiting from the poor. They love to take pictures of a poor girl in Africa, or a half naked boy in Bangladesh and decorating their Development Effectiveness Reports with such pictures.
How true was Ross Coggins - an USAid employee - when he described this mentality in his poem titled “The Development Set” in 1976
We discuss malnutrition over steaks And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks. Whether Asian floods or African drought, We face each issue with open mouth.
We bring in consultants whose circumlocution Raises difficulties for every solution – Thus guaranteeing continued good eating By showing the need for another meeting.
Modern world can benefit a lot from the story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) to approach the current food crisis. He first predicted the onslaught of a crisis well in advance. That brings the knowledge and predictive power. Joseph’s predictive power lies in his spirituality. So, the first lesson to the World leaders is to leave secularism and respect religion if they want to tap into helpful predictive powers. Predictive analytics based on AI, Machine Learning and Statistics can leverage on past examples, but can never tap into novel problems that has no history. In such areas, the knowledge and prophecies of people of spirituality has no rival.
Next, Joseph -after predicting correctly- started to chart a policy on spending that is very sensible and not draconian in nature as IMF does. He then went on to ensure proper implementation of the policy himself, to the extend that he could identify when a family of ten brothers came and claimed alms for eleven. He was successful to combat corruption in food distribution; a subject that international organizations has consistently failed miserably.
The lesson is that any food crisis needs foresightedness and predictive power, added to it practical policies in food preservation and distribution, add to it honesty and transparency in distribution. In short, it need strong leadership; which is a rare commodity in our times . The solution needs both sound plan and honest and strong leadership who sincerely executes the plans. Today we have problem in both, but mostly the lack of honesty from those who design solutions as well as those who execute the solutions.
The West can never get out of their traditional master-slave mentality. When the West lost control of colonies, it continued to enslave them by systems like World Bank and IMF. These systems work in coordination with local puppet governments. Loans are extended by the World Bank to serve the West and Western corporations and never seek to alleviate the most needed developmental problems of the population. For example, they would ask rural population to leave their fertile lands, and rush to urban areas and join the garment factories so that the West can get cheap shirts and pants, while these poor get merely 1% of the share of the price.
The results is a food crisis which could have been avoided if the farmers were allowed and subsidized to grow food in their own land. The West thus hit two birds at the same time: they kept their local subsidized farmers fully employed, and their surplus production were send as aid to poor counties to keep them further enslaved. Had they left the farmers till their land and subsidized their fertilizer, market pricing, connecting rural roads, and communication, there would be no hunger. This orchestration of anti-poor-artificial-food-crisis was possible because of corrupt governments who stash most of aids to fatten their own coffers in exchange of loyalty to the Western enslavement plans. Had their been sincere leaders like Prophet Yusuf, he would not let it happen under his administration.
Allah has created the earth and the heavens and kept enough provisions for everyone. There is no Malthusian pessimism; everyone will have their food. The problem are the rich elites who are 1% of the global population yet they wants to have 99% of the resources for themselves. I am not asking this 1% to leave the 99%, rather only leave 30% to the rest of the population and the world will change.
I can not imagine a farmer or a garment worker spending 14 hours a day and not getting even 1% of the price of the food or garments they are producing. Greediness and wanting more is a key trait of human being. Prophet Muhammad - peace be upon him- has rightly said that if son of Adam had two valley-full of gold, he would long for the third. Allah said in Surah al-Isra verse 111:
“Even if you were to possess the ˹infinite˺ treasuries of my Lord’s mercy, then you would certainly withhold ˹them˺, fearing they would run out—for humankind is ever stingy!”
Farmers heart are soft and attached with the heaven. They look up for rain and water. They are spiritual by nature. Nurturing their spirituality and rewarding their efforts is key towards solving the food crisis. It is these soft hearts and their righteousness that brings rain from the clouds and initiates development and prosperity on earth. Here is an evidence from the Quran (7:96)
Had the people of those societies been faithful and mindful ˹of Allah˺, We would have overwhelmed them with blessings from heaven and earth. But they disbelieved, so We seized them for what they used to commit.
.. and another verse (72:16):
Had the deniers followed the Right Way, We would have certainly granted them abundant rain to drink—
.. and a third verse where prophet Hud giving sermon to his wicked people:
And O my people! Seek your Lord’s forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance. He will shower you with rain in abundance, and add strength to your strength. So do not turn away, persisting in wickedness.
Contrary to the poor segment of the society, the rich are the polluters of environment and spreaders of wastes that has brought all disease and corruption on earth. Let me give evidence as well from the Quran. Read for example the story of Korah who was an ultra rich, and how his people advised him against the illness of richness and said (28:77)
be good ˹to others˺ as Allah has been good to you. Do not seek to spread corruption in the land, for Allah certainly does not like the corruptors.
.. yet another verse (96:6,7)
Most certainly, one exceeds all bounds once they think they are self-sufficient.