The escalating crisis of volatile food prices and food insecurity is the result of an industrial development model based on large-scale, export-orientated agriculture tied to international competition, self interest and stock market speculation. With over a billion people going hungry each day despite a huge surplus of food production, a reorientation towards more localised, smaller scale and sustainable agriculture is urgently required.
One important piece of the answer to the food price crisis is the
simple yet powerful idea of saving food in times of plenty for use in
times of scarcity. The Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy have released a compendium of current writing on food reserves, with a contribution from Share The World's Resources.
The recent Rio+20 Summit upheld the right of all people to food, and
the need to support small farmers and promote ecologically-sound
agriculture. A review of the Summit's discussions and outcome document on food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, by Martin Khor.
It is time to pull out from institutions
that are harming us. What a wonderful opportunity to unconditionally serve others. We are waiting for you, with open arms, to join the greatest movement around selfless service that humanity has ever witnessed. By Pancho Ramos-Stierle.
Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on
engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as
the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has
shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert
itself, argues Verlyn Klinkenborg.
On March 7th, European Coordination Via Campesina and Nyéléni Europe
organised a public conference on food sovereignty called “More
Farmers, Better Food”, held to communicate to a large public and to European institutions the results
of the Nyéléni Europe Forum, held in Austria in August 2011.
In his latest book, Jean Ziegler explains how the global hunger crisis is the direct consequence of neoliberal political decisions and the excessive influence of transnational corporations. With around one billion people still lacking access to basic food, more must be done to combat the power of agribusiness, argues Siv O'Neall.
As the threat of another famine haunts Africa, this time in the Sahel region, it is high time we finally accepted that global food systems are broken. Fixing them requires a new focus on small farmers, food reserves and long-term planning, argues Olivier De Schutter.