Why people still go hungry

22 March 2012 | Leicester Mercury

(Headline by Leicester Mercury)

Francisca Martinez records Unesco’s opinion that “If ‘too many people’ cause hunger, we would expect to find more hungry people in countries with more people per agricultural hectare. Yet we can find no such correlation” (Mailbox March 15).

This lack of correlation is because industry and trade have made many highly populated countries prosperous and they can abolish hunger by importing food. (In another part of their article, Unesco gives Singapore as one of the examples of a densely population country where there is no hunger. But Singapore imports 90% of its food.) On the other hand, countries with the highest number of malnourished people are all dependent on agriculture. They have a lot of agricultural land, but not enough to cope with the repeated doubling of their populations. They cannot afford to import food, so they go hungry.

Gerald Danaher