Total world production of cereals increased from 2353 million MT in 2007 to 2566 million MT in 2012 i.e by 9.1% in 5 years while the population during this period went up by around 6% only. Thus the per capita availability has gone up. What is more important is that in the food deficit Africa the growth rates of food prouction are higher than the world average growth rates.In Africa the increase in cereal production is 25.2% and in roots and tubers 26.4%. Similarly there is considerable increase of around 15% in production of vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and milk. To sustain this increase, expansion of irrigation is important. Construction of dams, lakes, digging of canals, diversion of rivers should be given priority. Simultaneously micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler irrigation should also be undertaken.
The current per capita production of cereals at 350 kg per year is more than sufficient. The surplus will become more pronounced if feeding animals with cereals is reduced and fodder production is increased.
Enough food grains are produced. Giving buying power to the people will ensure food security.
Food Security is wrongly understood by planners. Food security means keeping adequate stock of food grains in the market. While countries where climatic and other conditions are not favourable for agriculture, the governments should ensure adequate stock in the market by facilitating or directly importing food grains. In countries like India food security means facilitating production of adequate food grains by making farming a profitable profession i.e. by ensuring fair prices for agricultural produce. At the same time government should ensure work with fair wages for all adult people. Even the disabled should do jobs according to their ability. The only fields where government should provide services free of cost or at subsidized rates are health and education. This is because, these services at times can become unaffordable for people.Food grains need not be supplied at subsidised rates.
Economy can grow only when the production of goods and services grow. This can happen only when all adults work.
There was a time when India had acute shortage of sugar. Then the government increased the procurement price of sugarcane and continues to increase the procurement price periodically. This has led to India becoming not only self sufficiet but also surplus in sugar.Not only this, sugarcane is one of the only 2 or 3 crops in which India’s yield is higher than world and Asian average yield.
If countries which are deficit in cereals increase procurement prices substantially,the farmers will find ways to increase the yield and production. These countries should also impose import duties on cereals to such an extent that the local produce becomes cheaper. The deficit in food grains can easily be wiped out in most of the deficit countries.
The question will arise as to how poor people who are malnourished for want of money to buy food gains shall buy at higher prices. The people do not have buying power because they do not have enough work. The govenments there should undertake massive works like digging lakes, canals, wells,laying roads, railway lines, power transmitters and lines solar power stations, hydro-electric power stations etc. Most of the west and east African countries receive over 1000 mm rainfall every year and hence increasing food grain production may not be a big problem at all.