“Malthusian views of the relationship between population and food remain relevant today.” Discuss this statement.
According to Malthusian theory of population, population increases in a geometrical ratio, whereas food supply increases in an arithmetic ratio. This imbalance would lead to widespread poverty and starvation, which would only be checked by natural occurrences such as disease, high infant mortality, famine, war or moral restraint.
However, this theory is wrong in circumstances now, because it only considered two factors—food and population. But these two factors can be overcome by different ways. Other factors such as improvements in technology proved him wrong. He was right at his time but development made him wrong. If it wasn't for outside influences on population growth and food supply, his mathematical reasoning which proved his theory and was right.
Firstly, as I had just said, food production has increased in many different ways, unimaginable in Malthus’ time. For one, food technology has rapidly improved. The emergence of Genetically Modified food (GM Food) has boosted food production greatly. GM crops can be planted even in the most undesirable places, in low developed countries like Africa and Brazil. GM crops are also enhanced so that they are pest resistant, hence increasing crop yield. From this you can already see that GM crops cannot only increase food production, living standard can also be increased.
Food production has also been increased by draining marshlands, reclaiming land from the sea, cross-breeding of cattle, use of high-yielding varieties of crops, terracing slopes, growing crops in greenhouses, using more sophisticated irrigation techniques such as hydroponics, growing new food such as soya, making artificial fertilizers, farming native crop and animal species, and fish farming. From this, you can see that although population has maybe exceeded the “optimum”, there is no decrease in food supply and living...
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