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.
Contrary to the claim of feeding the world, genetically engineered crops have failed to significantly increase yields. Most worrisome is the greatly increased use of synthetic chemicals, despite the promise that GMOs would reduce insecticide use, says the Global Citizens Report on the State of GMOs.
In the drive for global food security, policymakers are sidelining sustainable farming techniques in favour of dangerous quick-fix solutions. Governments and donors need to re-balance their current focus on intensive farming towards much greater support for agro-ecological approaches, says a report by Christian Aid.
The root cause of the global food crisis is to be found in a system designed to sustain corporate profits rather than meeting people’s needs. Governments should work to promote ‘food sovereignty’ through support for small-scale producers and local markets, says a report by War on Want.
must recognize that the supply shortfalls leading to massive hunger and
malnutrition are not the result of natural forces but instead are primarily the
result of human choices that can and must be changed, writes the NGO Working Group on Food & Hunger at the United Nations.
Financial speculation in commodity markets is fuelling food price inflation and hunger around the world. New rules that limit speculative activity are required to stabilise international markets and prevent another global food crisis, says a report by the World Development Movement.
Forty years after food activism took off around the globe, corporatism is stronger than ever. But so is the grassroots push for control over our work, land, and seeds, say Frances Moore Lappé, Raj Patel, Vandana Shiva, and Michael Pollan in an exchange in The Nation.
The combined effects of climate change, energy scarcity, and water stress require that we radically rethink our food production systems. Agroecology offers a model of agricultural development to meet this challenge, write Olivier De Schutter and Gaëtan Vanloqueren.