Food dependency is not the measure of a successful economy. Food insecurity should also not be equated with the well-being of a nation. Countries with small geographical areas must look at development and growth models appropriate to the available human and material resources.

Japan imports a lot of its food. It is one of the richest countries in the world. America is probably the biggest importer of goods and services, but its economy is bigger than any other country. Most oil-producing nations are net importers of food. At the same time, these countries have very high per capita incomes.

We live in an interdependent world. We produce some things and sell surpluses to others. We import products and services from other nations that make them cheaper or generate surpluses. We agree that food is a critical commodity. It is essential to our survival. It won’t be easy to survive without energy in today’s world. Nations make a trade-off. They focus on where they are most competitive. It is the role of leaders and policymakers to make choices in their people’s best interests.

Decades ago, America decided to move away from manufacturing in the last century and focus on services. Manufacturing lines moved to China, which was eager to welcome them. The policy decision was momentous and led to the transformation of China from a developing country to a middle-income country and the second-biggest economy in the world. Today, it is undertaking another policy shift similar to that made by America in the last century. It is shedding manufacturing and focusing on technology and services.

A nation overcomes its dependencies on any product by making policy choices. Once that choice has been made, it deploys its energies toward overcoming that dependency. Food dependency is just one of the many growth choices. There is enough technology available to convert food dependency into a surplus. But this shift can only occur when the country is generating enough surpluses that it can use to import food in quantities and at prevailing prices. Many parts of the world, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, do not generate surpluses that can be traded for food. It has made these countries highly vulnerable to food price shocks. These countries must restructure the growth models to draw them out of the current vicious cycle of food insecurity.

Related Posts:

Sudhirahluwalia, Inc