It’s no secret South Asia is home to the world’s largest and most dense population. As of recent yearly trends, the overall population is growing. One of the biggest concerns with an already large population growing is sustaining it with the right amount of food. With food production being greatly impacted by climate change, malnutrition and rising food prices are leading to major implications for South Asia.
A major leading factor with regard to food shortage in South Asia is the changing climate. If there is one area most prone to climate change, it is agriculture. During the years of 2015-2016, India experienced its first back-to-back drought in three decades . While it has been a while for this event to reoccur, much has changed with India: populations have increased, inflation has set a toll with heightening prices, and global climate change has worsened. With droughts being a side effect of global climate change, they have serious effects on food production. With already high demands, production in important food diets such as milk, fruits, and vegetables have greatly decreased. This is particularly troubling for India’s extremely high and growing population. Lowering production in food with a growing population is a serious concern. Also, with an increasing demand for food and less of it in production, prices will naturally increase. Not only is there less food, but also it’s becoming hard to obtain for everyone. This is putting food security for India at risk. With being forced to look at other options, India now has to look for other methods of supporting their populations including imports and methods for reducing carbon emissions. There’s increasing amounts of evidence of global climate change that is damaging agriculture production and putting Southern Asia’s population food security at risk.
Malnutrition is already prevalent in India, but with increases in population and decreases in food, these numbers might increase drastically but there is hope. According to Daily Times, scientists believe that currently, there are 300 million people in South Asia suffering from malnutrition . Malnutrition doesn’t just mean that people are deficient in some sort of way with nutrition, but it also accounts for starvation. 300 million is a staggering number because this figure also includes children, babies, and pregnant women. All the aforementioned with malnutrition could lead to problems with human growth, development, and other serious health issues. South Asia’s malnutrition problem is a serious ongoing problem that even the World Bank is keeping close tabs on. By 2025, the World Bank wants to decrease the number of malnourished children by 40% . This is a very important goal because if no actions were to be taken, then the number would just keep growing. Changes being made to help achieve this include better water and food management practices, neighboring countries to share technological advancements to help better production, and getting more researchers actively involved in the case in India (particularly from women). Malnourishment in South Asia is an important topic because a lot of people reside there but, in good news, actions are being taken.
Rising prices impact everyone in the neighboring regions and for South Asia, over three billion are being hurt resulting in more people being pushed into poverty and straining families financially. As of late, food prices have soared higher than ever. While this is not projected to last, it is having major implications on people worldwide. Food prices are increasing at a staggering rate in India. Nutritious and important produce increased by 20% in one month during 2016 . BBC provides an excellent demographic illustrating the price of rice during the 2000’s and how it almost quadrupled in five years. In terms of South Asia, it is having major implications. Already the region with the highest poverty, more people are being forced into it as they’re adjusting their budgets to meet their survival needs. Families in poverty adjusting budgets are devastating. This means that less money is going towards education, better quality of life, and most important, medical bills. With soaring food prices in India, many families are being forced into financially strained circumstances.
Southern Asia is facing many problems with food security leading to malnutrition and rising food prices stemming from many factors with climate change being most prevalent. This is a serious global topic that is currently being tackled by large organizations such as the World Bank. Adaptations need to be made to support the population but hopefully, the World’s Bank of cutting malnutrition in children by 40% will be met.