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what is at the ROOT of the food problem?

what factors and entities are standing in the way of food security? here's a few examples:


food security should not be used as an opportunity for profiteering.
I think it is a good way to be sustainable, and independent. we may not have all the variety of the world available to us but each region offers up exact what the people need to survive, what happens when our transportations systems fail, or due to cost of fuel cant afford the produce for sale. We should focus regional foods that work well with in that area.

Rex Brynen said:
It might be an interesting storyline, but does this really cast any light on how issues of food security emerge and are dealt with in the real world? Not at all. In fact, Episode 1 and 2 are very misleading in this respect.

Why does Tokyo have a food shortage? The story seems to imply that food needs to be produced locally, and that indeed societies need to be self-sufficient to be food secure. In an era of global trade, however, they don't--indeed, the basic principles of international trade suggests that countries ought to focus on the production of products where they have a degree of comparative advantage, and then sell those items to acquire items that they can't produce as efficiently. (There are a lot of qualifiers here, but they're unnecessary for now.) Why produce expensive wheat (like Saudi Arabia does, using desalinated seawater at 17x the world price) when you can buy it far more cheaply from Canada, the US, Argentina, Australia (etc)? Why grow tomatoes in (cold) Montreal, when we can import them more cheaply from (warm) Mexico? And so forth.

In other words, why can't Tokyo buy the food it needs? Why isn't imported food cheaper than the (presumably very expensive) alternative of growing food on rooftops, where the small size of individual plots would mean that one would lose the economies of scale associated with larger areas? Only in a comic book would this be an appropriate response to potential famine.

Food insecurity around the world sometimes arises from local shortage (and high prices), but it also arises from distributional issues, income inequality, increases in global prices (due, for example, to ethanol production), changes in the prices of inputs, politics, taxation policies, war and the use of food/famine as a weapon of war, blockades, environmental change. Western trade protectionism in the agricultural sector is also a key problem for many commodities. It is fascinating--but complex--stuff, and developing appropriate responses involves understanding all of those interrelated, multidimensional social, economic, political environmental factors.

Effective policy responses, and effective social innovation, requires a nuanced understanding on problems and their social context.
Jonathan Swift had an excellent idea for food security in a book called A Modest Proposal - have any evokers read it?
No real worry about Tokyo overpopulating, or too many of our "First world" countries. Japan as a wh*** is an aging society with the amount of youngsters being completely overshadowed by the elderly. The death rate has exceeded the birth rate here and an actual concern for people at the moment isn't "Will there be a food shortage due to some unforeseen economic meltdown that cuts Japan off from the rest of the world" but more of a "Will there be enough people left in Japan to take care of the elderly Japanese" 2020 is looking to be a tough year when a lot of elderly people are incapable of working any longer (As even people well past retirement age continue to work until they cannot anymore. Elderly and disabled pensions really suck here.)
If a massive heat wave were to strike the world thanks to global warming and the oil shortage were to hit so harshly that Japan's export and import industry were to grind to a sudden halt something like massive rooftop gardens would be useful in cooling the city and providing at least some temporary relief to the issue. But the comic is a little "Over exuberant to the point of why not just give them magical powers"
Plants don't grow overnight, if Japan can't import its basic necessities how can "EVOKE" import the tonnes of fertile soil and adult plants needed to provide any relief? If these plants just "Magically appear" one evening what's to stop that same global warming from deep frying them all the next day and leaving Tokyoites with a bunch of dead plants on their roofs? Who's going to take care of all these plants? While rooftop gardens and home gardens might help to a point, unless people do it now and everyone understands its purpose now the only "Upside" we can hope in all this is that by the time it reaches the "Evoke" point everyone over the age of 50 has died of a heat stroke leaving only the young who can work in harsh conditions in Tokyo any longer. And chances are there would have already been a mass exodus of the city by then for the much cooler mountain regions.

Gerardo Huertas said:
Free trade was taken to the extreme without much thinking...or with much evil thinking...Equilibrium needs to be maintained and some degree of independency on food security (by people, families, communities and governments, in that order of course.

Rooftop plantations can only be seen as some sort of supplement, not the real solution.

Second, logistics of food distribution -for people or farm animals mind you- are always a big issue, and local pre-existing networks are usually the best bet.

Finally and for God's sake, let's discuss human overpopulation and the way to stop it, not to grow it as free trade buyers..! If Tokyo wants to reach what in the past was known as homeostasis, then we have to stop multiplying...
Most developing nations have the resources at their fingertips to deal with disaster, especially this kind of "Home made disaster" If we're talking food shortages on a global scale Japan is going to be more messed up then just needing rooftop gardens to fix it.

Africa on the other hand is facing serious and real crisis right now dealing with food shortages, and recommending "Magical roof gardens" isn't going to help them.

Companies and countries have been messing with various African regions for centuries. And unless on a global scale we can all hike up our socks and do something, nothing is going to be done to the excess that it needs to be.

Certainly there are things Africans can do. http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com/ educating themselves and fixing things to the best of their abilities while the rest of the world ignores their plight. But even then that can only go so far as Global Warming becomes a massive issue for them. If the water leaves central Africa (which according to this http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/food-security-statistics/fao-hunger... is where the biggest issues currently are) because America or Canada or Japan or any other country can be assed to cut back greenhouse ga**** and start those rooftop gardens NOW to help cool the earth (I mean we can't even be collectivly bothered to pain our roofs white http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6366639.ece which would cut down global warming to what it was 10 years ago.) In the end there's not much that Africans can do other then hopefully gain better political situations with their governments and with neighbouring governments and then en masse just leave the inhabitable region.

But peace coming all across Africa within the next 10 years so the entire region can work together as one unit and deal with the rising issue?

Might as well start wishing for aliens to come and solve all our problems.

(But then I'm just a bitter skeptic)

Benjamin Drews said:
Much of Africa's is developing, and there is a huge gap in wealth, the rich are extremely so, the poor on the other end of the scale. The problem is researching then developing, as well as distributing, solutions for bugs, lack of fertile soil, drought, and the rigorous labor that the farmers endure.
Tokyo will not have a famine. If absolutely necessary, they can go back to the rice paddies. But there are so involved in global trade, that is quite unlikely. Africa has had multiple famines, and so it is more important to help those developing countries, such as Bangladesh. They need to take advantage of technological advancements, such as electricity. Giving them free solar power and wind power isn't the answer either, because the company's that "generously" do so will also build factories to provide the people with "consistent" jobs, or in other words, take advantage of cheap labor. We have to invest in and fund Electrical power companies operating in Africa, and urge them to expand into the country.

I really want to know who took the picture at the end?

I like this concept and all that comes with it. it opens up our minds to the parts of the world in need and what we as EVOKE agents can do. All in all it is a very creative story line for the concept of food security.

I like how Evoke tells a story and makes it interesting while still expresses serious issues

I believe food security is important to everybody. It is a nessity for live. How are food security issues delt with in the real world?

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