THE WORLD FOOD PROBLEM by Willard W. Cochrane


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In 1969, two billion people suffer from undernourishment, malnutrition, and hunger. Due to population growth and the ""revolution of rising expectations,"" the demand for food is increasing over the supply, giving rise to social and political unrest. Such are the outlines of the ""world food problem,"" as described by Dr. Cochrane, former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, and a specialist on the developing lands. In this highly technical study, he argues that contrary to the predictions of the ""Cassandras,"" and other books on the subject, there is no immediate threat of world starvation. Rather, the gap between population and production can be overcome if intelligent ""multiple solutions"" are applied: family planning, foreign food aid, and economic and technical assistance; all aimed at producing rapid but balanced industrial and agricultural growth in the poor nations. Previous attempts are critically analyzed, and future courses of action charted, with extensive policy suggestions, of which perhaps the most controversial is that aid be channeled not through the U.N. agencies, which Cochrane considers lacking in administrative strength and handicapped by bureaucratic strife, but rather through the 15 member nations of the Development Assistance Committee, with a recommended contribution of up to 4% of their GNPs. (over 26 billion dollars for the U.S. this year). There is a vague proposal that the U.N. might be used to prevent the donors from meddling too much in the recipients' political affairs. Cochrane acknowledges that many of his suggestions have recently appeared in the specialist literature on the subject. He provides a useful service here by putting these findings together with his own thoughts for the consumption of serious students of world economic development.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1969
Publisher: Crowell