G8 and the food crisis: the real solutions

G8 and the food crisis: the real solutions

G8 action needed to stop the food crisis

Taking into consideration, the July 2008 G8 meeting in Tokyo, this paper reviews some of the key problems and potential solutions to the current food crisis. Its core assertion is that the G8 need to step up emergency assistance to the 850 million people who are suffering from hunger, and address the underlying causes of the current food crisis.

Key causes and solutions featured include;

  • Genetic Engineering (GE) is a threat to food security rather than a solution to the food crisis - GE crops experience lower yields and have failed under extreme fluctuations in temperature
  • climate change will increasingly affect agriculture worldwide - food security, particularly in poorer countries, is under threat from unpredictable changes in rainfall and more frequent extreme weather events
  • additional forces behind the food crisis include speculation on commodities and the growing demand for meat which is diverting grain away from feeding people to feeding livestock
  • governments need to channel investment in research and development on sustainable ecological farming methods, especially those that will increase food production by the poorest in the developing world, focusing on small-scale farmers
  • the future of farming lies in a biodiversity-intensive agriculture - industrial agriculture compromises the very resources on which our food supply depends.
The paper concludes that a fundamental change in farming practices and policies is needed to address soaring food prices, hunger and environmental disasters. Small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward in ending the food crisis and meeting the needs of local communities.
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