Monday, March 29, 2010

Science alone not enough to boost world farm output

Laurie Goering in Reuters: Feeding a fast-growing global population in the face of climate change and stagnant funding for food aid and farm research will require a fundamental revamp of agriculture, agricultural experts said. But unlike the "Green Revolution" that dramatically hiked agricultural output in Latin America and Asia from the 1950s, a new agricultural restructuring will need to focus as much on new seed varieties as on good governance, women's empowerment and things like curbing commodities speculation, they added.

"We cannot address world food security risks effectively only through a science and technology agenda," Joachim von Braun, former director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), told a conference Sunday. "We need to get appropriate market regulations to prevent excessive speculation," he added on the opening day of the conference held in southern France to discuss a roadmap to reform agricultural research to meet development goals.

Speculation in food markets contributes to fuelling price swings that can undercut the ability of farmers to plan, often leading them to over or under-produce. The lack of political support and financial resources for agricultural research are also among the biggest problems holding back efforts to boost farm output and feed more than a billion hungry people in the world, said Jacques Diouf, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

"We have the programs, we have the projects, we have the knowledge... We have everything we need but political will," he said, adding there were signs things were changing. "We have realized the problem of food security is not only a technical, economic, ethical problem. It's a problem of peace and security in the world."…

Cottages with Haystack by a Muddy Track, Residenzgalerie, Salzburg, by Jan van Goyen, 1632

1 comment:

Nikki Thornton said...

Peace is a gift,
It is a gift we give to ourselves,
And then to each other.