As food supplies have tightened, a new geopolitics of food has emerged—a world in which the global competition for land and water is intensifying and each country is fending for itself.
Overnight, China has become a leading world grain importer, set to buy a staggering 22 million tons in the 2013–14 trade year. As recently as 2006—just eight years ago—China had a grain surplus and was exporting 10 million tons. What caused this dramatic shift?
Unfortunately, a growing share of the water that irrigates three-fifths of India's grain harvest is coming from wells that are starting to go dry. This sets the stage for a major disruption in food supplies for India's growing population.
In every society where incomes have risen, the appetite for meat, milk, eggs, and seafood has generated an enormous growth in animal protein consumption. Today some 3 billion people are moving up the food chain.
With desertification becoming more of an apparent issue, are we doing enough to stop it from becoming a widespread irreversible problem?
Newly released reports, academic papers and research with relevance to agriculture.
Over the past five years, at least 39 farmers have killed themselves rather than leave their land. The figures are a stark reminder of how China’s new wave of urbanization is at times a violent struggle between a powerful state and stubborn farmers.
It is a shame that many of those who care so deeply about the wellbeing of this planet and its people seem incapable of having a rational debate about modern food production.
Notwithstanding a tokenistic proposed reduction (primarily due to minor cuts to the food stamp program, ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’) the total combined value of subsidies and food aid under the new Farm Bill is set to remain the same at roughly US$100 billion annually.
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released this week has found that draw-down from long-term aquifers has been accelerating driven in large part by water use for irrigation.
The view that increased crop production is the strategy most likely to achieve global food security could in reality allow farmland to encroach on valuable ecosystems, have a disastrous impact on forests and might not solve food security and nutrition problems, scientists say.
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