The future of food security and the need for farmers to adapt to a changing climate was recently discussed by CCAFS Theme Leader Gerald C. Nelson when he was interviewed by the National Public Radio (USA). Also participating in the radio program ‘Feeding a Hotter; More Crowded Planet’ was the President o the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) Lester Brown and the director of Oxfam America Gawain Kripke.
Gerald C. Nelson, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and leader of the CCAFS policy analysis research together with the other participants, discussed the challenges of keeping food supplies secure in the face of a changing climate and potential solutions. Since nearly one billion people worldwide don’t have reliable access to food, something climate change might increase, solutions are more than critical. Read more »
Not to be outdone by surging wheat and soy prices, now corn too has entered the race. The Economist (14 October 2010) reports:
"The relentless summer sun (after earlier floods) led to the [October world supply-and-demand estimates from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)] report’s conclusion: 'Corn production is forecast 496m bushels lower as a 258,000-acre increase in harvested area is more than offset by a 6.7-bushel-per-acre reduction in yield.' Read more »
A little late on this one, but there's been much (and often tongue-in-cheek) coverage of the "Kimchi crisis" in South Korea. Originally beginning with bad harvests, the issue is now high prices and hoarding (similar story: earlier post explaining the wheat crisis).
An insightful piece in the Guardian discusses the importance of "food intelligence," touching on issues of price volatility, unreliable or asymmetrical information about food production/supplies, sticky macroeconomic politics/trade policies, the dangers of speculators, and (the lack of) international food storage. Read more »
"I find the coverage of weather troubling. Few of these stories have been told as 'food stories,' yet the implications for food availability, pricing, and security are significant and widespread. The fires in Russia have been reported as likely to affect the wheat commodity market—making this, in other words, a 'business story,' even though tightening wheat supplies will affect millions of eaters around the world. And there's been little coverage outside California about our coldest summer on record."
from: "Still No Tomatoes: Is Global Warming to Blame?" The Atlantic, 14 september 2010
There is no way around it: international trade policy is always messy. Recently, each round of WTO has drawn angry mobs and protests--and, more often than not, very little change. The pattern, it seems, especially holds true for discussions about food subsidies: developing countries want the U.S. and, to a lesser extent, Europe to remove the subsidies and genuinely open up their markets to developing country stocks, and the U.S. and Europe refuse to do so. And the stalemate replicates each WTO round, seemingly ad infinitum.
But the food crises of 2007-2008 and 2010 are demonstrating, more than ever, the dangers of nationalist, isolationist (and ultimately myopic) food policies.
Let's rewind. What happened during these food crises, who was responsible, and what made the 2007-2008 crisis so much worse than this one? Read more »
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)