Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The "Century of Hunger"?

The wealthiest nations are poised to condemn the peoples of the rest of the world to a "Century of Hunger" unless they agree to new rules governing food supply.   That warning was delivered by French agriculture minister, Bruno Le Maire, as the G20 AgMins gathered in Paris today.

France, which holds the G-20 presidency, wants a central database on crops, limits on export bans, international market regulation, emergency stockpiles and a plan to raise global output. 

“We don’t want to dilute the action plan,” Le Maire said. “Either the G-20 members are able to find consensus on something which would help us to fight against excessive volatility and to fight against hunger in the world,” or “it would be a failure,” he said. 

The choice is “international solidarity” or “egotism” if nations want to avert this becoming the “the century of hunger,” he told a meeting of 120 farmers groups in Paris last week. France is the European Union’s biggest farm producer. 

“People have taken food for granted, especially in the U.S., for so long that they’ve forgotten how important it is,” Carlson said. “I shudder to think what would happen, to the poorer countries especially, if we ran out of food. There would be just unrest like we can’t imagine.” 

Canada and countries that can still produce staple crops in high volume stand to gain a lot from the increasing market demand coupled with severe weather events elsewhere that sharply disrupt production and reduce competition.  In other words, their pain is our gain.

France is insisting that any G20 deal must provide for regulation of financial markets for agricultural commodities, a notion that the American congress is likely to reject.


Steve said...

New rules to the food supply great, new rules to the 1% that have created this food crisis long overdue.

The Mound of Sound said...

New rules badly needed but no one's holding his breath that we'll see them. There are too many like Harper who won't support meaningful action against the speculative commodities markets lest that undercut the windfall that has accrued to the wheat and other grain producers. He'll sabotage efforts to reach an effective emissions reduction pact and he'll work feverishly to expand the world's filthiest fossil fuel project. Harper is blinded by visions of wealth and power to the suffering and death he willingly spreads elsewhere. The man is a fiend.

Steve said...

There is an exciting new development. Obama seems to want to lay a beating on the oil speculators. Now if only it was part of a master plan.