Analysis Of The Different Measures Of Development On The Example Of The U.s. And Egypt

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In our pursuit to understanding the dynamics of our world, development and food production have become increasingly prevalent topics of discussion. Development, a process that creates growth and progress, is measured using Gross National Income (GNI), the Human Development Index (HDI), and the Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDGI), each accounting for one or more of the following factors: social well-being, economic circumstance and degree of sustainability. Food production, sugar as an example, can contribute to each of these aspects of development through increasing economic production, thus increasing funds for a countries welfare programs, and the development of sustainable agricultural practices.

This essay will assess how well GNI, HDI and SDGI describe development, compare development in the United States (US) and Egypt–looking at their roles as either consumers or producers of sugar– and evaluate the association between food production and development using the three different indices.

GNI, HDI and SDGI measure development addressing one or more of the following: economic circumstance, social well-being, and sustainability. GNI quantifies development by measuring the total economic value of production in each country on a per capita basis in US dollars. While economic production is required for a country’s development, GNI fails to take into account social well-being–a lack of being an indicator of income inequality–and measures of sustainability. The second measure of development, HDI, considers three dimensions of well-being: life expectancy, education, and gross national income. While HDI recognizes development as social well-being in addition to economic circumstance, the three indicators fail to incorporate the complexity of development. SDGI, the third measure, measures development considering numerous measures of sustainability.

At the moment, SDGI is the best measure of development due to its focus on individual well-being, in addition to including aspects of sustainability, which ensures a country is working within the planet’s ecological limits. Moreover, it promotes practices that endure and methods that are feasible and economical– all of which are necessary for development to persist. Despite its ingenuity, SDGI faces limitations as well. Often, countries with the highest ranking of SDGI also have the highest ecological footprint, indicating a lesser focus on sustainability than desired. Despite each measures limitations, it’s important to note the complexity and contradictory nature of development, and understand that GNI, HDI, and SDGI provide the preliminary structure necessary to work towards future measurements of development.

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Globally, there are countless of disparities related to the production of food that subsequently affect development. For example, sugar plays a role– in the US as a product of export and Egypt as a consumer– in contributing to development. The three ways in which we measure development, GNI, HDI, and SDGI, allow us to compare these disparities. The US in 2017, had a GNI totalling 58 270 US$, their HDI was 0.924 (ranked 13th) and their SDGI in 2018 was 73.0 (ranked 35th). Egypt, on the other hand, ranks very differently. In 2017, Egypt had a GNI totalling 3010 US$, an HDI of 0.696 (ranked 115th) and their SDGI in 2018 was 63.5 (ranked 97th).

Given these measures of development, the US consistently ranks higher in each index, thus is theoretically more developed. GNI plays a significant role in determining a country’s ability to provide welfare to individuals and creating economically sound and feasible technology, influencing their rank of social well-being and sustainability. Since the US has a substantially higher GNI, they are able to rank higher in HDI and SDGI as well. Although sugar exports contribute to the US’s GNI, and in turn HDI and SDGI, it’s crucial that we look beyond the impact of one product. In order to understand the development in both countries, we would need to analyze other exports and imports, instead of making conclusions based on one.

Food production plays a major role in a countries development. Food production is fundamental for poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability. Firstly, food production provides a source of food supply to the country itself and contributes raw material to gross national income through export. It also provides employment opportunities for unskilled workers. As food production becomes more prominent, infrastructure becomes essential to fulfill the agricultural demands. All of these factors contribute to the development of a country. In terms of social well-being, food production has the ability to reduce inequality by reducing hunger, creating jobs for individuals in rural areas and increasing economic output, allowing more funds to be allocated towards a country’s welfare.

Finally, with a developing world, agriculture has seen shifts in technology promoting more sustainable methods of food production. Sustainable agriculture ensures environmentally friendly practices such as minimizing water use and lowering pollution levels, in turn contributing immensely to this aspect of development. Overall, increased agricultural output contributes significantly to overall economic development, social well-being, and practices that are sustainable.

This essay examines the different measures of development, GNI, HDI, and SDGI, looks at the roles played by the US and Egypt in regards to sugar and explores the association between food production and development. Development, a process that creates growth and progress, is a complex and contradictory subject.

In examining development, GNI, HDI, and SDGI provide scales that help us understand how a country is affected by economic production, social welfare, and measures of sustainability. Each of these measures of development is also affected by food production and food production disparities, by contributing to national income through export and increasing funds for sustainable practices and social welfare. In assessing development related to food production, it is important to understand its complexity and look beyond the impact of one product. Though each measure has its limitations, they are important stepping stones that have the ability to pave the way for future measurements of development.

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