Thursday, November 12, 2009

Technology feeds

Despite the number of people in poverty and the very long way we have to go before solving the problems, there have been technological advancements that are feeding millions of people that were hungry. In China, the technology that was paired with rice production has made it possible to feed an additional 60 million people each year. This has also reduced the amount of land needed to be allocated to rice by 14%. In India, the irrigation innovations have allowed over 620,000 farmers on the Indian-Gangetic plains to operate at a much more affordable level. This means supplying wheat to more of the population. In the Philippines, genetic enhancement is creating tropical fish that grow twice as fast and have twice the survival rate. The Tilapia production, a tropical fish, has tripled due to the genetic alternation between 1990 and 2007. At the same time the production costs dropped by a third. It has become a staple source of protein in the Philippines, feeding 23 million poor consumers. These successes are due to improvements in technology, land reform and changes in government policy. The successes are mixed with the cons that comes from technology, there are arguments for organic and environmental issues that comes with genetic modification. Successes in agriculture do mean trade offs in other aspects; but the problem remains that people are hungry.
-Sara Frodge
Report done by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation