A crash course in changing the world.
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.
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...
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?