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.
Smallholders in the livestock industry are unable to compete
with larger, more intensive producers. A widening gulf is emerging between
those who can take advantage of growing demand for animal food products and
those who cannot, says a report by FAO.
Malawi is lauded as a success story of the “green revolution” agricultural model – a technique that relies on imported fertilisers and seeds. But the achievements will not be sustainable unless land is redistributed fairly and dependency on imports is addressed, says a report by GRAIN.
The decision by EU countries in 2008 to obtain 10 percent of all transport fuels from agricultural crops is proving disastrous for poor countries. As European companies acquire land for fuel production, up to 100 million more people could go hungry, says a report by ActionAid.
La Via Campesina is the leading transnational movement opposing the corporate domination of food production. How has such a movement arisen and how has the notion of food sovereignty forged a shared identity among its members? By Maria Elena Martinez-Torres and Peter M. Rosset.
Despite the continuing threat of further food crises, international support for long-term agricultural programmes remains neglected. Overseas aid should target small-scale farmers in order to tackle global hunger, says a report by the APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development.
Producing an ever-larger volume of agricultural commodities will not
address the systemic fragility in our food system. To address the structural causes
of hunger, governments must place human rights at the centre of any response to
the global food crisis, says Olivier De Schutter.
The acquisition by foreign investors of farmland in poorer countries could fatally undermine sustainable food production. Governments should look to alternative strategies to feed their people – including a fledgling initiative to establish regional food reserves, argue Michael Kugelman and Sue Levenstein.