Saturday, March 6, 2010


Recent focus on food prices that is threatening to plunge the world into a crisis is inevitable considering the disastrous consequences mankind is going to face in the coming years due to inadequate food production and dwindling reserves. With population surging ahead in many developing countries with inadequate resources to raise enough food, starvation is a distinct possibility. While land productivity in most of the developed countries has reached achievable limits, the focus must be on helping the poorer nations with plenty of low productivity lands to increase food production through injection of much needed inputs in the form of high quality seeds, fertilizers, crop protection technology and crop processing infrastructure. The alarm about a possible food crisis comes from no less a person than the chief of FAO, the UN body specialized in food and agriculture.

"Food prices remain high in many developing countries. And Diouf says the threat of another global price hike persists. Energy prices have not fallen to pre-crisis levels, and crops are still being diverted for bio-fuels. In fact, he says, except for larger grain reserves, not much has changed since 2007. "All the other factors that led to the price crisis are all here. They have not changed," he says. "So, I think that, if we have -- and I pray that we don't have it -- serious problems of flood and drought in major exporting countries, we're back to square one."Experts say floods, drought and other extreme weather are becoming more frequent, brought on by climate change.And the world's population is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent, to 9 billion by 2050. Developing countries will grow the most".

That poorer countries cannot marshal necessary resources is a well known fact. If the promised $20 billion food assistance promised during the food summit last year materializes there is hope that the looming food crisis can still be averted. But the trend so far has been continued reluctance on the part of rich nations to release the promised economic assistance


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