Friday, May 19, 2006

Global Food Supply Near the Breaking Point

The global food system needs fixing and fast, says Darrin Qualman, NFU's research director.

"Many Canadian and U.S. farmers are going out of business because crop prices are at their lowest in nearly 100 years," Qualman said in an interview. "Farmers are told overproduction is to blame for the low prices they've been forced to accept in recent years."

However, most North American agribusiness corporations posted record profits in 2004. With only five major companies controlling the global grain market, there is a massive imbalance of power, he said.

"The food production system is designed to generate profits, not produce food or nutrition for people," Qualman told IPS.

He says there are enormous amounts of food stored in central Canada's farming heartland, but thousands of people there, including some farm families, are forced to rely on food banks.

Unlike pretty much all of the other years since the green revolution, we are not only facing distribution problems, but actually production shortages, according to this article. It states: "in five of the last six years, global population ate significantly more grains than farmers produced." One more reason it would be disastrous to attempt to substitute ethanol for gasoline (quoting Monbiot: "a humanitarian and environmental disaster").

It also mentions The Millenium Villages Project which seems quite interesting, producing local scale sustainable farming in some of the poorest countries.

More Food Politics, Environment

1 comment:

Malik said...


Kudos.... great blog.