I neglected my family to work on this. Please have a look. More sizes on Flickr
Rick Westhead wrote ‘Why India Can’t Feed Her People‘ in the Toronto Star. This infographic is based on his data. It shows how weak agriculture, governance, and infrastructure are combining to deliver less food per Indian than 30 years ago.
This infographic is completely based on Rick’s article. The data is all from there.
The infographic broadly proceeds from the bottom up. The food supply problem begins on the agricultural level. The government doesn’t/can’t invest enough in agriculture, or infrastructure. Bad infrastructure means that food is lost in transit. That means that people go hungry. None of this means that India is bad, on the contrary, India is great. It just means that it has a food supply problem.
India Can’t Feed Her People
There is less food per Indian than 30 years ago. In 2008, India produced about 10 grams less per person than in 2006, which is a big drop if you multiply by a billion. The worst of the problem is that an estimated 40% of children suffer from malnutrition, up to two-thirds in some provinces. This is a problem.
A recent FAO report showed that one-third of food all over the world is lost or wasted. Industrialized countries waste the food in stores or homes. Developing countries like India simply lose the food along the way. In India’s case, poor electricity supplies mean that food isn’t refrigerated. Bad (and long) roads mean that food decays on the way. This all works together to result in India losing around 40% of its food.
Politicians like to meddle with agriculture for votes, but rarely for actual productivity. India spends 0.6% of its GDP on agriculture, a number that’s declined since the 80s. Comparatively, China spends 5% of GDP. In rice, China gets twice the yields of India.
Due to multiple reasons (land reforms, generational division), Indian farms are half the size they were in 1948. In one sense this is good because the Zamindari System was bad, but it also means that these farms can’t invest in technology to increase productivity to levels the broader population requires. Indian farmers will grow an estimated 5% less this year than 2010.
If you want to go deeper, 20% of ground water levels are now reported as critical or over-exploited.
So, that should explain the infographic. For more color and deets, check out the Toronto Star article. It shows a food supply in crisis.
Note that it’s not all doom and gloom. India is emerging out of this with innovation and smarts, but it’s important to be aware of just where India is. India is the new middle class, but it’s also the new poor.
I can barely draw a triangle in Illustrator. This image is all cobbled together from vectors on Vecteezy. The farm background is from Vector Open Stock. The gravestones are by Vecto2000.com. The rice bowl is not from Vecteezy, it’s from Openclipart.org. The cool lost in transit badge is by LogoOpenStock. The truck is by officialclassic and the trippy fruit that fills it is by NickYo. The apple is by Ray Craighead and the kiddy dolls are by Khia Jackson. I think that’s all. Thank you.
The whole thing is released under a Creative Commons Attribution license, meaning do as you will, and a shout out would be nice. The image is available in various sizes on Flickr. I guess I’ll release the .AI file as well.