Too many countries have in history experienced the devastation of not only failed harvests, but also gross agricultural policy mismanagement.
The Great Famine of the 1930s in the Ukraine, which resulted in millions starving to death, is just one of many. It was a direct result of a political decision to impose a centralised and industrial agriculture model that obliterated centuries of farmers’ know-how. The results were so catastrophic that the Ukraine government describes it as genocide.
There is perhaps little wonder thatUkraine has been restricting wheat exports this year to maintain its own domestic stockpiles and prevent a rise in domestic bread prices following a heat wave and failed harvest. Continue reading
Farmer working in a watermelon field in an Indian province
On this World Food Day, I am in Rome where government ministers attending the World Committee on Food Security are facing up to a sobering reality: the food world system is badly broken. From climate change, to biofuels and GE foods, it’s time we take stock and look for solutions.
by Julian Oram
Finally, people are coming out in droves and talking openly about the links between climate change, extreme weather events… and food prices.
In the US, one of the largest producers of wheat, soy and corn, the Department of Agriculture has recorded a 12 % decrease in yield per acre due to “scarce rainfall coupled with record-breaking temperatures”. Continue reading