When Does a Food Crisis Officially Become a Famine?

These days, the terms “food crisis” and “famine” are frequently used interchangeably. In reality, they are not synonymous – there are some key differences to understand between the two. Gaining a firmer grasp on the language surrounding various degrees of food shortage is important; without it, we run the risk of not being able to accurately identify a food crisis or a famine when we’re legitimately threatened by one.

As experts in acreage lending and the agriculture industry, we feel that it is our duty to shed some light on this matter. This article will discuss everything that you need to know!

What Is a Food Crisis?

Technically speaking, a food crisis is the first phase of emergency that a population is subjected to after its food supply is depleted (due to war, economic collapse, natural disaster, etc.). Food crises result in widespread hunger across a general population and lead to multiple deaths.

What Is a Famine?

A famine, on the other hand, is much more severe. 

Three major things need to happen before a localized food crisis can be declared as a fully-fledged famine:

  • At least 20 percent of all households within a specified area must be unable to access a sufficient number of calories to feed all of its members on a day-to-day basis.
  • More than 30 percent of the children living within that specified area must be suffering from extreme malnutrition.
  • There must be more than two hunger-related deaths each day per every 10,000 people living within the community.

A famine, in other words, can be described as the catastrophic outcome of a food crisis that is allowed to continue and intensify over time. While food crises are relatively common throughout history, famines are much more infrequent. That does not mean, however, that a food crisis today could not turn into a more serious famine if it were allowed to do so.

Is Now the Right Time to Start a Hobby Farm?

There have been signs in the past few years that suggest the world may be headed for a global food crisis. In the event that a famine occurs, it would be useful to have access to your own food supply. If you’re considering starting a hobby farm to become self-sustaining, now is a good time to do so. 

In the Market for Acreage Lending?

At MSF Agriculture, we specialize in helping individuals secure loans for their land or farming operations. Our experts are standing by to help you secure acreage lending for your hobby farm or ag business. Contact our office today to get started!