One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

ID-100139495This blog was first posted on Huffington Post

Food is often in short supply. The availability of and access to food is also, and has always been, highly political. Poor wheat harvests imported into Rome between 56 to 58BC led to grain shortages and fluctuating prices. As a result the Roman mob became volatile and “on one occasion crowds besieged the senate and threatened to burn the senators alive, apparently encouraged by the tribune Clodius who had passed a law increasing the number of people entitled to subsidised grain” (excerpt from Gordon Conway’s book ‘One Billion Hungry: Can we feed the world?’).

Today food security is equally political and the 2007/08 food price spike led to political and economic instability and social unrest in both poor and developed nations. In Bangladesh, 10,000 workers rioted close to Dhaka, smashing cars and buses and vandalising factories in anger at…

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Global Food Politics

A new FAO food price forecast issued late last week suggests that food prices should stabilize this year. While noting numerous challenges, including the U.S. drought and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali, it notes that grain production is expected to increase in Europe and Russia, keeping maize and wheat prices stable. If their forecast is correct, it would represent a stabilization of prices at historically high levels, but stabilization nonetheless.

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