Food and Sustainability in Third World Countries
Good crop yields help feed families and communities; agriculture production is heavily impacted by climate, water availability, disease, and poor weather conditions (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d. https://hope-international.com/donate/food-self-reliance/more-about-food.html). Poor weather conditions cause problems for all food producers, however the difference between developed countries and developing countries is that, developed countries have the resources available to solve problems caused by extreme weather conditions (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Moreover, developing countries tend to have problems accessing land that is fertile, thus, makes it difficult to maintain a sustainable crop field (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Also, due to a lack of farm technology and resources that can improve farming techniques, problems of soil depletion create additional food issues (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). Moreover, many people lack access to food and water because of economic, agricultural policies, and governmental policies failure (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.). In addition, the food produced in developing countries does not stay within the countries. The food ends up being exported to foreign markets due to political and economic impacts (HOPE INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, n.d.). Thus, the failures of these parties result in countries with a lack of food distribution (HOPE International Development Agency, n.d.).
Cuba’s Food Dilemma
Cuba is a country that has had to learn how to be for the most part self-sustainable when it comes to food or lack of it. Since the U.S., embargo and the breakdown of the U.S.S.R. imports to this country have become more expensive and less accessible (Miroff, 2015, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/31/organic-food- revolution-farming-cuba-restaurants). Products like milk, eggs, produce and meats are provided to citizens through a ration book system that is very limited and is unable to provide enough food (Miroff, 2015). Grocery shopping in Cuba is not a one stop and shop deal, there are times you can spend a whole day going to many different stores in many different areas just to get what is needed to eat for a week.
Cuba is a country that runs on a dual currency system, one being the National Peso for their citizens and one being the Convertible Peso for tourists which is worth twenty-five percent more than their own. This system has made it impossible for even the most educated citizen to survive with the average salary being only around twenty-five dollars a month (Miroff, 2015). This wage issue has caused doctors, lawyers and some of the more prominent workers to find part time jobs in the tourist industry in order to get some convertible pesos to provide food for their families.
The brighter side to this situation comes from the C.E.O. Cuban Minister of Agriculture, Manuel Rodriguez when he states there is no future for the likes of Monsanto or any other corporation trying to bring genetically modified Organisms to their country (Havana Times, 2015, http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=112027). The lack of access to fertilizers and pesticides has allowed Cuba’s agriculture to remain eighty percent organic. Furthermore, since taking over for his brother President Raul Castro has given unproductive state land over to farmers and cooperatives in an attempt to generate more food for their country. With the embargos lifted, the hopes of being able to import farm machinery to help in the production of more agriculture at a steady pace. Cuba may never have as much food as other countries, but the choices they will have are better for them.
Food is vital to everyone in this world. Third world countries may have some troubles being able to afford food, but what about us here in Canada? Yes, we live in a developed country. However, we eat out about 520 times a year, this is either for a meal or a snack (Statistics Canada, 2006,http://www41.statcan.gc.ca/2006/0163/ceb0163_002-eng.htm). Even though third world countries may not be able to afford well-made food, households in Canada spend 30% of their food budget money on take out (Statistics Canada, 2006). We all need to be aware what is in our food and why we cannot seem to get good quality food. Cuba is able to not have any GMOs within their food. This is a great step for the rest of the world, but GMOs are an easier way of eating such large developed countries. As many of us know, eating healthy is a lifestyle and is more expensive then eating junk food. Third whole countries may not be able to afford healthy eating, but Canadians use 3/10s of our money on fast food (Statistics Canada, 2006). Eating out may be more convenient but it is not better for the human body.
Here is a video that shows the European Union (EU) taking action to solve the hunger problem in developing countries. EU is fighting hunger by supporting sustainable agriculture and fisheries, by working with people and governments to produce more food and fighting inequality. Here is the link that provides more detail about EUs plan to fight hunger in developing countries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1JrdVxt8s.