Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Answer to the Global Food Crisis: Peasants and small farmers can feed the world!

(this is a little dated but still good!!!)
(Click here for the original and to get whole article)
Thursday, 01 May 2008
Prices on the world market for cereals are rising. Wheat prices increased by 130% in the period between March 2007- March 2008. Rice prices increased by almost 80% in the period up to 2008. Maize prices increased by 35% between March 2007 and March 2008 (1). In countries that depend heavily on food imports some prices have gone up dramatically. Poor families see their food bills go up and can no longer afford to buy the minimum needed. In many countries cereal prices have doubled or tripled over the last year. Governments in these countries are under high pressure to make food available at reasonable prices. In Haiti the government already fell because of this issue and strong protests have taken place in other countries such as Cameroun, Egypt, and the Philippines…

The current crisis: a result of agricultural liberalization
Some analyst have been exclusively blaming agrofuels, the increasing world demand and global warming for the current food crisis. But actually, this crisis is also the result of many years of destructive policies that have undermined domestic food production. Trade liberalization has waged a virtual war against small producers. Farmers have been forced to produce cash crops for transnational corporations (TNCs) and buy their food on the world market.

Over the last 20-30 years the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and more recently the WTO have forced countries to decrease investment in food production and to reduce support for peasant and small farmers. However, small farmers are the key food producers in the world.

Major international donors have also shown a lack of interest in food production. Development cooperation from industrialized countries to developing countries went up from 20 billion USD in 1980 to 100 billion USD in 2007. However, support for agriculture went down from 17 billion dollar to 3 billion USD during the same time. And most of these funds probably did not go to peasant-based food production. (Click to get whole article)

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