Global Food Balances and Individual Hunger : Three Themes in an Entitlements Based Approach
While there is considerable disagreement about the actual number of hungry people in the world today, there is almost universal agreement that the current situation is unacceptable. Too many individuals are subject to periodic reductions in their food intake - which leaves many dead - and even among those not subject to such transitory reductions, there is too low a level of average food intake. What is the role of global food balances in determining this paper of individual hunger? The object of this paper is to introduce and elaborate upon three themes which emphasize the regional element in the link between global food balances and individual hunger in an entitlements based approach. The first of these themes is an extension of Sen's (1981) entitlements approach to hunger to the case of nation states in a global setting. The second theme is based around the nature of the world food market as an interlinked system of markets in internationally traded and non-traded food crops. The third and final theme emphasizes the essential and inherent conflict between net sellers and net buyers of food, in an international and national system of market based entitlements.
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