World Food Shortages

July 28, 1965

Report Outline
Food Resources and Threat of Famine
United States as World Food Supplier
Bars to Big Production Increases Abroad

Food Resources and Threat of Famine

Prospect of Widespread Hunger in the World

Famine on an extensive scale in underdeveloped regions of the world appears unavoidable if the poor nations do not start soon to produce food as fast as they produce people. Food-short countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are already on the threshold of starvation. They have managed to stave off disaster so far because of huge grain shipments from the United States and a few other food-surplus countries. The vast output of American farms, however, will not be sufficient to avert calamity indefinitely if the world's population continues to soar at present rates.

Conditions of famine will emerge all over the globe within the next five years, economists believe, unless emergency programs to increase the yield of land now under cultivation are launched in every country. This conclusion is expected to be underscored by a report on prospective world food needs to be submitted in the near future by a U.S. government interdepartmental task force. Experts of the Department of Agriculture, the Agency for International Development, and the Bureau of the Budget who are preparing the report may propose another increase in the Food for Peace program; $1.7 billion worth of American food surpluses are now shipped abroad annually under that program. Shipments under an expanded program might be conditioned on increased food production by the recipient countries.

Dimensions of The Coming Global Food Crisis

News that the world is on the verge of widespread famine will come as a surprise to well-fed Americans who assumed that any such possibility had been eliminated by a combination of U.S. food shipments and agricultural development projects abroad. President Eisenhower observed five years ago that “ours is the first generation to catch the scent of victory” over hunger and malnutrition. “There have been no major famines in the free world during the last decade,” Eisenhower said, “and, to my knowledge, this cannot be said of any prior decade.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Food Prices and Supply
Nov. 05, 2021  Coffee at a Crossroads
Oct. 18, 2011  Rising Food Prices
Jun. 27, 2008  Global Food Crisis
Aug. 04, 1978  Food Inflation
Nov. 01, 1974  World Food Needs
May 10, 1972  Food Prices
Mar. 25, 1970  Green Revolution
Nov. 23, 1966  Consumer Food Dollar
Jul. 28, 1965  World Food Shortages
Feb. 21, 1951  Food Price Subsidies
Jul. 12, 1950  Famine and Food Supply
Feb. 09, 1946  Food Subsidies and Parity Prices
Jul. 17, 1943  Food Supply
Humanitarian Assistance