Surging Food Prices...........................
Background: In recent months, the world has been taken by a dramatic surprise - shortages of some crop staples that have led to soaring food prices. The scenario may create a Global Hunger Crisis in the near term. The United Nations, governments, and international aid agencies have given a clarion call for help in providing affordable food supplies and avoiding a hunger crisis across the world.
Among the many factors contributing to rising prices of basic food staples of crop origin, are higher energy costs in the recent time that have expanded bio-fuels production and transition to bio-energy.
Misguided policies favour for bio-fuels and animal feed over grain for hungry people..........
Several factors such as diversification in cropping pattern to meet worldwide demand for bio fuels, migration of rural masses to urban centers, changing traditional professions and enhancing purchasing and consumption pattern, specifically among developing nations of Asia, Africa and South America, and above that alignment of new economic equation and growing economic zones, are at play in the skyrocketing prices, reflecting both rising global demand, falling supplies and erratic weather conditions.
At least four measures should be taken in response to the food price crisis. First, the world should heed the clarion call to fund a massive increase in global food production, specifically among Afro-Asian nations. The needed technologies are available - high yield seeds, fertilizers, small scale irrigation - but the financing is not. Second, the developed nations should end their mis-guided corn - to - ethanol subsidies. Third, the world should support longer term research into higher agricultural production and efficient waste conversion into bio-fuels. And finally, they should follow through on the promised ''Adaptation Fund'' announced last December at The UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, to help the poor facing the growing risk to food production from increasingly adverse climate conditions.
Author: Dr. Jagdish P. N. Giri,Founder and Executive Director: Aaditya Energy Foundation, Chennai, India
E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: http://www.aadityaenergyfoundation.org.in/