1 Nov 2012

How To Feed A Billion Hungry People

By Ben Eltham
Climate change and the legacy of bad agricultural policies aren't making it any easier to feed the world. Food security issues are posing new challenges to Australian law-makers, writes Ben Eltham
It was the Reverend Thomas Malthus who first hypothesised that the world may run out of food one day. Malthus, an economist, observed that agricultural production tends to increase more slowly than population. The inevitable result, he foresaw, was famine.

By and large, the last two centuries have proved Malthus wrong. Even as the world's population has ballooned past seven billion, agricultural production has increased, thanks to big improvements in crop yields and farming technologies. But at various stages, the race to feed hungry mouths has been close. Devastating famines were still common in India throughout the nineteenth century; as recently as 2010, the Times of India reported that 45,000 children were dying of malnutrition each year in the state of Maharashtra alone.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the world started to win the war against hunger in the 1950s and 60s, thanks to the so-called "green revolution". The green revolution was really about applying the methods of modern industrial agriculture to subsistence farming, by getting peasant farmers to grow more productive crop varieties and use fertilisers for the first time. Big money was also invested in agricultural technologies in developing countries, and there was much effort devoted to reaching out to famers to give them access to the new crops and methods. It worked: cereal production in Asia between 1970 and 1995.

The green revolution has been controversial in environmental circles, however, because of the damage it has wreaked on fragile soils and waterways. The adoption of modern crop varieties means farmers now require fertilisers and pesticides to gain better yields, and there has been a corresponding loss of biodiversity. In general, the quality of soils around the world is in decline, as David Montgomery points out in his fine book on the topic, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilisations.

Despite the great improvements of the 20th century, the ideas of Malthus are getting a more sympathetic hearing of late, under the rubric of "food security." The reason? The challenge of feeding the world isn't getting any easier. Global crop yields are starting to flatten out after their rapid growth through the second half of the 20th century, but the world continues to add hungry mouths to feed. With world population expected to level out at around 10 billion by the end of the century, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that we're going to have grow 60 per cent more food by 2050. Climate change and over-fishing are only going to make the problem harder.

We're already seeing a hint of what the future might look like. Food prices have spiked alarmingly in recent years, leading to the return of famine in many parts of the world. In 2008, for instance, a rapid increase in grain prices sparked food riots in dozens of countries across the world; these scenes were repeated in 2010-11 and may have played a part in the explosion of public unrest that led to the Arab Spring.

When the rains don't come, problems quickly follow. Estimates vary, but there are probably more than a billion hungry people in the world right now. In the Sahel belt in the drylands of Africa, an erratic and late rainy season in 2011 has led to widespread hunger in the region for the third time since 2005. The World Food Program is handing out food to millions of hungry people there. The crippling US drought currently baking much of America's west is also expected to have a big impact on world food prices, with some predicting it will lead to a new round of food riots.

Another issue is biofuels production, with much of the US corn crop now being used to create bio-ethanol for cars instead of food for people. Shenggen Fan, the director-general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, has called for biofuel production to be stopped.

The growing concerns about food security are also beginning to be felt in Australia. Australia is a major agricultural exporter, and our own drought through the 2000s contributed to the increase in world wheat prices. Now that the drought has broken, farmers have been enjoying healthy prices for their crops.

The coming crisis in food security offers significant potential advantages for Australia. A recent study by Port Jackson Partners for ANZ predicted that Australian agricultural exports could double by 2050, gaining an additional $710 billion worth of exports between now and the middle of the century. However, competition will likely be intense, with countries such as Malaysia and Brazil expected to ramp up their production in coming decades. Australia's agriculture sector is also in desperate need of more capital investment and a greater research and development effort. Dominated by small firms and a fragmented industry structure, productivity growth has been lagging.

All this worry about food has spurred a global land grab for arable cropland, particularly in Africa. According to the World Bank, more than half of land that could potentially be used for expansion of cultivated area globally is in just 10 countries, five of which are in Africa. Millions of hectares have been bought up by foreign investors in countries like Ethiopia, Mozambique and Sudan.

Investors are also showing an interest in Australian farm land. The high-profile purchase of the vast cotton combine at Cubbie Station in south-west Queensland has caused significant disquiet in the region, and brought maverick Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce into conflict with many of his Coalition colleagues. Joyce has long been outspoken on the need to ensure stricter controls on foreign investment to retain Australian farm land in local ownership. Over in the west, there's also been an outbreak of Liberal-National tension over the deregulation of wheat exports.

The thorny political issues of agriculture aren't going to go away. While rising demand means that in some respects the future of Australian agriculture looks rosy, there are major challenges on the horizon — particularly environmental challenges. If we are going to capitalise on this demand, we will have to farm more sustainably.

A major new report released today by the Centre for Policy Development (with which I am associated) underlines the problem. Australia's soils are in poor shape: the report cites data that suggests that since clearing for agriculture, Australia's soils have lost 40 to 60 per cent of their organic carbon. Over 20 million hectares of farm land are affected by soil acidity, over 3 million hectares are affected by salinity, and unsustainable rates of erosion has damaged almost 40 million hectares in river basins with intensive agriculture. The report recommends a big investment in redressing soil degradation in order to protect Australia's agricultural industries, particularly wheat farming in Western Australia. "We need to farm smarter, not harder, to capture future opportunities," the report concludes.

But to do this will require more investment, both by governments and the private sector. It won't be politically easy to farm more sustainably, either; the long-running saga of the Murray-Darling Basin shows how hard it is to wind back damaging and unsustainable irrigation practices. More money will also have to be invested in agricultural R+D. All of this will mean higher prices for fresh produce, which consumers won't like.

All in all, there's no easy option. After decades of food surpluses, the world became complacent, to our cost. Now we're playing catch up.

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GeoffRussell
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 14:28

Why do so many people writing about food security consistently mention biofuels and the impacts their increase has on food production but ignore the MUCH larger impacts of feeding food to livestock?

Australians eat a couple of million tonnes of grain annually which provides almost 800 Calories per person per day while we feed a similar amount to chickens in order to supply another 156 Calories from the crippled chickens that factory farming produces. I'd suggest people buy a bag of chicken feed from a grain store ... have a look at what it contains. Typically about 15% protein, wheat laced with legumes and liberally supplemented with vitamins and minerals because chickens have considerably higher needs (per kg of body weight) than we do. There is something rather obscene about such high quality feed pouring into factory farms while people are hungry. The high prices that rich meat addicts will pay for their fix distorts the entire agricultural system ... why grow food for poor people when its more profitable to grow feed for the livestock of the wealthy?

Another 4 million tonnes of grain goes to our feedlot cattle, much of which is exported in an effort to lift the bowel cancer rates of other countries up to our world's best practice levels.

For a non-meat centric view of feeding the population of 2050 ... please consider:

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/11/20/feeding-billions-p1/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/12/04/feeding-billions-p2/
http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/12/21/feeding-billions-p3/

Evan
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 14:40

The green revolution was also a disaster for farmers as smaller farms were absorbed into larger farms and so people needed to go to the cities to find paying work.

A good (and rigorous) critique of the green revolution is Vandana Sheva for those interested.

The problem is not technical in my view. Imagine how much food could be grown if every back yard and roof was devoted to growing food - just in Aus. So all the propaganda from the chemical industry and agri-business is quite misdirected.

1Craig
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 14:52

Geoff, meat is something people like to eat. If we start banning types of food, whats next. It is all a matter of supply and demand. The cost of grain to feed animals is still very cheap. Farmers do not produce grain for animal feed on purpose, the majority is low grade grain or damaged grain, which the human consumption market will not buy. As food becomes under supplied and prices rise it will become less economic to feed it to animals. The price of meat will have to rise to cover the feed price increases or stock will not be produced.

A much bigger threat to world food production everyone is ignoring the avalabilty of phosphorus. Most Phosphorus for fertilizer comes from mining ancient bird shit in places like Nauru, where it is running out. China has already banned exports so they can maintain their food security. Most other sources are being utilized and will eventually run out and the price of Phosphorus has already risen. Once Phosphorus becomes expensive and harder to get world food production will crash.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Lyn
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 16:49

Lyn
"Small is Beautiful" -- written in 1973, re-printed in 2010. Recommended to me 20 years ago and I finally obtained a copy this year. Relevant to all of the above.

Venise Alstergren
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 17:43

An interesting article BEN ELTHAM: However the greatest threat isn't even mentioned...Water. By 2030 wars will be being fought over water. And without water nothing will be grown, not even the raw materials {corn} of biofuel. There's something majestic about man's stupidity that feeding cars is more important than food for humans.

Never, in a squillion years, would I have thought to agree with Barnaby joyce on anything, but I almost do on this one. Trouble is the man is a fundamentalist Catholic who is unable to consider the alternative. Restrict everyone's breeding. Of course, the big companies which feed on other peoples' land can only make the profits they do because people keep replicating themselves. One day, one day, man will destroy himself. We are just not smart enough to survive.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. jennynielsen
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 17:59

All over the world when people put permaculture principles to work for themselves and for the planet they get fed!
As for phosphorus. Urine is plentiful.
If we take responsibility, scale down, source food locally in season and let nature show us how it's done we might save the planet and ourselves.
Observe and learn.

frankdugong
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 19:56

Let’s get something straight here you have taken work performed by people in the field, and wrote it up. Why are your facts coming to you in the sense of practise, or the facts you write or comment on have come about why? Why so glum chum with the news hope is cheap and food you have to pay for. In the perfect situation all might be well, but Asia has been feeding large amounts of people for a very long time cant place a war that killed 20% of its population. Franks Final Grade likes very much to be part of the solution and not the problem. What was your point of the story o university graduate?

K Brown
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 19:58

Ben - Is this article an advertorial for the Liberal Party's soil carbon scheme? Just joking! Great points by all and maybe market forces will drive most outcomes. Will we see;

1. Feed-lot animal protein becoming so expensive that we eat it less and improve our health outcomes and that free range animal production on marginal land unsuitable for cropping (of which Australia has an almost boundless amount) becoming profitable?

2. Agricultural land becoming so valuable that lifestyle blocks developed on our cities productive agricultural hinterland being re-aggregated into horticultural enterprises and local in-season produce becoming cost-competitive with factory farmed alternatives.

You simply have to keep your eyes open as you travel around Australia and then compare to the way Asian and European farmers make use of their land to see that we can extract considerably more agricultural production from our land.

Stripling
Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 20:35

Mass production of food has become an industry with all of the problems of actual industry-political-economical-ideological and lastly but admittedly it should have been first on the list=environmental.

Lately everything is called an industry and operates on the same logic that produced steel and oil-the two drivers of the 20th Century.

When Management structures are literally templates from schematics, it can be disturbing if you recognise the schematic, I pointed this out in university regarding a government proposal for social welfare. I didn't think a hydraulic press would do anything other than mass produce social welfare clients as products.

It seems that food has been on this programme for some time.

I do agree that ideas like perma-culture are the long term answer but in a world where everything is an industry how many people have time to engage in home farming?

Before it becomes an industry I think we need DIVERSITY in our thinking and less industry process.

gazza
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 00:03

Any body thought about reducing the world population.
Apart from the pentagon using bombs,
that really is a last resort,mmmm then again.

Numbat
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 00:48

James Mollison and his Permaculture ideas are brilliant because they give power to the individual. He says that you can grow the food for a family on an apartment balcony, which might be technically possible for the gifted green thumbs, but even those with less skill could employ his techniques and make a real difference to the weekly food budget.

Water availability, now scarce and privately owned by the globalist pigs, could potentially create health problems if desperate people start watering veggies with grey water. But with the right community based education programs like Ceres it could work well.

Not a complete answer, but its something.

Of course this wouldnt be the urgent issue it is if people didnt have so many children. Nobody wants mandatory one child policies but men and women should be actively discouraged from having more than three kids each. If they dont voluntarily act then maybe forced sterilization could be considered following subsequent births.

jackal01
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 07:53

gazza, Venise Alstergren have the only solution to the problem.

Population control.

Next article should be about, how do you get arrogant pigs who suffer from Penis envy to give up having 5 to 10 kids, because of some entitelment brain problem, some macho bull.

Population control would solve the refugee problem aswell.

Remember 77% of all Australians live of the Tax Purse and only exports or foriegn trade feeds the purse.

A very smart man once said that economic figures tell you nothing.

If I mow your lawn for an income and you mow my lawn for an income the GDP of the nation goes up, but, is anybody better of because of it, NO. So whats the point of saying we have GDP growth if we do not know who was mowing who's lawn.

Same with consumerism, money flows from Tax Purse to nurse, from nurse to Small Business and/or Large who make a profit and maybe pay Tax back in to the purse. Now GDP went up because of this trade as Tax Dollars flow down the consumer chain but the same money only went around back to the purse and inflation reduced its value as it moved. So, the point is whats the point to all of this money flow to show a GDP growth yet we don't know and can't say who, why or whether anybody even benfitted.

So we have a few brain dead fools who went to war and now say they deserve a pension and presume that all of these babies are going to one day pay Taxes so that these new consumers/Tax Payers can work for the Tax Purse as Nurses, Doctors, Police Officers etc. and boost the GDP which tells you nothing, other then the fact that a transaction took place, but can't tell you where the money came from or what was done, as in me mowing your lawn and you moving mine. Are we richer because the GDP was artificaialy pushed upwards by us mowing each others lawns for money/consumerism, financial activity, all that because we were stuid enough to mow each others lawns. Or me wowing your lawn and you painting my fence. Are we better of, or did we just avoid doing a job we didn't like, so we payed for it with Tax Purse money, because most, including business people feed of this consumption chain which is fed by the PURSE. Think about it, serious.

The Harvard Business Model is and was for Wankers and consumerism is a Trojan Horse and Allan Greenspan knew it. Thats why we have so much Private Debt that needs to be replaced by the Governments Tax Purse funds, hence bail outs by Governments everywhere.

Remember back before 1900 85% of the worlds wealth and exports was in the hands of the big 4 who couldn't go and mow each others lawns for ever, sooner or later they had to get around to War and Plunder or create uneven/unfair trade balances. The other 15% were bottom Dwellers, subsistence economies, like East Timor.

We can't go on Plundering or having uneven/unfair Trade Balances/ Trade Practices to feed our own ego's and expect everyone else to always believe that we do it for freedom and democracy or because we are apparently smarter, better thieves but thats about it.

We have to do it to feed our Breeders and we Breed because of a lie invented by our modern war lords/industrialists, because without us consuming their garbage built and made with our nations Resources, they would soon have to get a real job.

So where to from here, keep breeding and to hell with the future.
Our childrens future.
If I were a kid i would go home and punch my mother in the mouth, for dropping her knickers just to have a roof over her head and then once I was older and capable I'd also punch the old man for being nothing but an egotistical milking cow and for what, so they can stand around in Traffic ques all day, just to go to work and back, just to own a Bullshit castle, to feed my sad and sorry ass until it all ends.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 10:02

Good article and pertinent comments by GeoffRussel and Venise Alstergren. Some comments:

1. Meat. Conversion efficiency (kg grain to produce 1 kg gain in live weight): herbivorous farmed fish (e.g. carp, tilapia, catfish; less than 2), chicken (2), pork (4), and beef (7). In 2003, 37 percent of the world grain harvest, or nearly 700 million tons, used to produce animal protein. Americans eat 50 times more meat than Indians. 2 billion people are hungry, 1 billion malnourished - but nobody would be hungry in a vegan world eschewing meat and the food-for-fuel obscenity (see "Biofuel famine, biofuel genocide, meat & global food price crisis": http://globalavoidablemortality.blogspot.com.au/2008/05/biofuel-famine-b... ).

2. Biofuel genocide. Mandated food-for-fuel (Biofuel) in the US, UK and EU is biofuel genocide. it is a major contributor (together with speculation and man-made climate change) to food price increases that threaten mass mortality (see "Biofuel Genocide": https://sites.google.com/site/biofuelgenocide/ ). In 1942-1945 the British deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death in the WW2 Bengali Holocaust when the PRICE of rice quadrupled, with Australia being complicit by withholding grain from its wartime mountain of 24 million tonnes of wheat from starving *India (see my book "Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History", now available for free perusal on the web: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com.au/ ). World food prices doubled this century but millions were saved when they dropped in 2008-2009 associated with the GFC. Now food prices are higher than ever (see FAO: http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation/wfs-home/foodpricesindex/en/ ).

3. Water. Man-made climate change is causing both increased drought and increased floods in particular zones , both damaging to crop yields. A 1 degree Centigrade increase in temperature means a 10% decrease in cereal yield (see Dr Vandana Shiva, "Soil not oil" and Camilla Toulmin, "Climate change in Africa").

4. Climate change. World Bank analysts have recently re-assessed annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution as 50% bigger than hitherto thought and that the livestock contribution is over 51% of the bigger figure (major element: 20 year time frame considered for CH4 GWP). (see Robert Goodland and Jeff Anfang. “Livestock and climate change. What if the key actors in climate change are … cows, pigs and chickens?”, World Watch, November/December 2009: http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf ).

5. Population. China has shown the way but India lags badly. A modest increase in economic security and female literacy are vitally important for population control (see Chapter 8 of my book "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950", now available for free perusal on the Web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ ).

Greedy, climate criminal, Lib-Lab, Australia has an appalling record on all 5 matters.

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 11:23

A modest increase in economic security and 100% female literacy are vitally important for population control

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

Olivier
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 13:10

recommended reading: http://www.grain.org/

Modern food production also gives us:
high GHG pollution, high habitat & biodiversity loss,
soil destruction via high acidity/salinity/structure breakdown/erosion, genetic monopoly/feudalism (GMO), product suited for storage over taste, inputs of finite petrochemicals for lazy topsoil losses.

Carrot and stick policy to cap children at 2 per couple would certainly benefit food security (as well as mental health, climate destabilization mitigation, etc).

fightmumma
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 13:48

grumpyoldman -
the point of food security where the concern is, is access to food that is healthy and nutritious, that contributes to a nation's physical health and wellbeing. Obesity and its related diseases are not caused by healthy proportions of healthy food types. Obesity and its related health risks are caused by consuming unhealthy, calorie-rich, nutrient poor foods and by our now predominantly sedentary Western lifestyles.

We need to remember that ironically Western countries have obesity as major health risks and underdeveloped countries have malnutrition as their major health complications. It is the quality and freshness of the foods that is the problem. And produced in countries with respect to social and labour standards too so that there are no other human rights violations.

Frankdu -

Using Asia as a role model for access to food is not a good idea. Firstly haven't you heard of history and what happened to Chinese farmers producing food for the cities of a new communist China...who starved to death in their millions for the communist cause...bagging up and transporting grains to cities and doing so on empty stomachs while their children starved to death? Or the civil/regional/ideological wars in many Asian countries that greatly impacted food production/access/labour?? And there are millions of people living on $1 and 2$ a day, many of whom are in Asian countries...so how do you suggest THEY are obtaining food??? And their social protections are no where near as inclusive and thorough as ours in Oz, so how do you suggest that disabled people, the elderly, people with illnesses and unemployed people have access to food in these countries?

The problems are multiple - first the production, then access, that it's healthy, that inequalities do not distort access or availability, that there is no exploitation of groups from the environment itself, to disadvantaged social groups or poor nations. It requires national management and vision and global coordination...except the only global coordination we see is of finance/trade to supply continual consumption and military security to guarantee the wealth of the powerful minority. Food for the many is not a priority while certain sectors can consume without restriction. When restrictions grow worse due to increasing unavailability (that is, costs will continue to increase until fewer and fewer sectors of society have a purchasing power wealthy enough to supply their nutrition needs and wants) - only then will we see food security turn into a legitimate priority for our governments. Of course by this time certain multinational and transnational corporations will own all the productive land and have absolute power over choice, negotiations and distribution. We need to protect democracy and have a higher value placed on sustainability, controlled consumption and innovation.

KathODonnell
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 14:54

thank you. I'm off to read about dirt now. food & water issues are a real problem in some places I've lived overseas now. I hope we can find ethical solutions to these problems before it's too late

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 20:14

Ben, you really should talk to some farmers before you shoot your mouth off. Those of us who actually grow food for living will tell you there need be no shortage of food in the world, that we will grow all the food every person presently living on the planet would need to eat themselves into obesity, if only they are willing to pay what it costs to grow that food.

And lest you think that price could be extortionate, let me put it in the context of tree crops, which is what I grew. They need to pay just half of what their parents paid, a quarter of what their grandparents paid, an eighth of what their great-grandparents paid – get my drift?

One tree crop I used to grow had a farm gate price last year almost exactly one-eighth of the farm gate price it commanded in 1985, so sometimes the generational rule of thumb gets compressed.

The plantations got compressed too, with endless hectares of trees in the prime of their producing life, with decades of production of endless tonnages of food ahead of them, being bulldozed.

As for a shortage of arable land, I can point you to billions of hectares of land around the world, much of it here in Australia, that was once used to grow food and is now reverting to scrub, because the price of food has fallen so far it is no longer economic to grow food on that land.

So let me repeat: there <i>is</i> no shortage of food, there <i>is</i> no shortage of land, there <i>is</i> just a shortage of people willing to pay the cost of production.

jackal01
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 23:24

So let me repeat: there is no shortage of food, there is no shortage of land, there is just a shortage of people willing to pay the cost of production.

Thats right Aussie and Albert von Battenberg or hoffen or what ever he was lobiied the British Parliament for 3 long years so that the Landed Gentry would lower their priices only to have to bring in American grain to feed the starving Irish, after fighting to do away with import protectionism.

You grow food for money, the greedier you are the more you want.

Trade deals are desighn to keep commodity prices high in both exporting and importing countries. They take our beef, we buy their Bananas or what ever despite the fact that we can grow our own bananas.

Yet the consumer is forced to pay high prices so that you can export to countries that don't realy want our beef yet have to take it so that we take their bananas or what ever.

uneven/unfair trade balances are a problem and the consumer has to pay high prices so that you/the farmer can trade.

uneven/unfair trade balances became a problem between America and the rest of the world when America went from debtor to Creditor. someone had to go and the Germans were it, they didn't own Palastine. Britain did so American Jews were always going to side with England, they wanted The state of Israel as early as 1905 long before the hatred for Jews became the big issue.

Many people/parties used uneven/unfair trade balances to devide and Conquer Europe. America is destroying the European Economies with Refugee's that they create with their stupid foreign policies, why, Competition for trade and/or Trade imbalances between America and Europe and America wants to come out ahead.

pan.sapiens
Posted Friday, November 2, 2012 - 23:49

"It worked: cereal production in Asia between 1970 and 1995."
-You seem to have lost a word there, Ben.

Back on topic, this article has me wondering about the role of phosphorus for Australian agriculture in the future. As I understand it Australian soils don't have much of the stuff, and the raw materials for phosphate fertilizers are a limited resource. Kinda like oil, except with oil there are alternatives.

aussiegreg: point well taken, but surely the crux of the matter is that there are presently many people in the world (as a result of recent availability of cheap food) who simply CAN'T afford to pay as much as it costs to produce food on marginal land, especially as the costs of the petrochemical (nitrogen) and phosphate fertilizers which drove the "green revolution" increase. They just don't have the money, and will simply starve if food prices increase beyond a certain point. Not a problem for the world's middle classes, sure, but then again when have the relatively wealthy ever been at risk of starvation? Arguably famine in the future will therefore fundamentally be a wealth distribution problem, rather than a food shortage problem (just as it ever was).

LASTLY, if we could just exercise a little bit of common sense and stop feeding grain to cattle that would go a long way to solving our food security problems. It would go a long way to solving our problems with antibiotic resistant bacteria too. Cows eat grass. People eat grain. Why is that so hard for some people to get?

jackal01
Posted Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 08:39

pan.sapiens
Why is that so hard for some people to get?

Yes, as a son in-law, once a long time ago my task was to listen to the Grandfather. When you spend hours and hours listening to old people you tend to notice something, not because your maybe smart but because you a forced to. What you notice is that some old people empty their minds of a whole heap of history, injustice, hard work, like the bible its hours of something. The other thing you notice is that the information is and was actualy quite useless to the man. his entire life until he ran out of life was more of everything, more of what he happened to do, but their was no rhyme reason or logic.

My own brother was one of those people. He couldn't just mow the lawn because it needed to be done, no, he needed to get payed to do it. It was his family homes lawn, where he parked his Pushy and later his car, but he needed to get payed. he didn't want more work he just wanted more money, why? Because he was a rooster he liked to crow and look good. You Know, the here I am, look at me, don't you like what you see, people.

All of us, mostly, can't see something because we don't want to.
Thats why society is failing, as religion fails we fail. Why Religion, because sundays you used to have to go and listen, to sit as the Preacher waffled on you had time to reflect, as I had time to reflect and ponder when the old fellow rambled on. I learned a lot while sitting their seemingly listening, listening for those few nuggets of wisdom to come out of his mouth that I had infact missed maybe 3 or 4 times previously.

Thats why I said what I said earlier on about GDP growth and what it REALY MEANS to anyone. It just indicates financial activity but can't tell you wether it was worth anything.

As in my example.
If I mow your lawn for an income and you mow my lawn for an income the GDP of the nation goes up.

All GDP tells you is that money flowed from me to you and back again, a bit like actualy laundering money. It can't tell you why, or wether anyone is better off because of it.

1 of the problems with farming food is that it is a bit of a bubble in itself. Like the housing bubble, share market bubble, commodity prices bubble. Its all driven to bubble stage by the need for more, why, nobody knows. GDP figures? More must be good, or is it.

Take our 2 speed economy, more minning, must be good, right.
What do we know now, more of one, hurts more of the others. Greed overtook logic, greed won out. We forgot that the knee bone can't go anywhere without the thigh bone. The head, the Brains needs the rest of the body even our buttocks to live. Thats why Liberal Party individualism is such a lie, lie given to us by people who live in bubbles, mental bubbles and create the bubbles that ruin our economies.

A Farmer might like to think he is it, that he is the MAN. But in reality he is nothing without consumers either here or abroad. It is the here and or abroad that becomes our societies problems when Farmers want to screw their own people for more, can't and then have to use our Government to take it abroad, overseas to get more, mostly because of our need for export dollars to feed the Tax Purse Governments allow themselves to be used to set up Trade Deals that hurts the local Population by having to import other things in Trade Deals to assist our Farmer to be able to Trade abroad and avoid needing local Consumers to create and sell more. The local Population is forced to pay more for the import to assist the other greedy idiot, idiot Farmer to Trade overseas. Now that does not always hold true if other Nations need your Farmers Production because they had a drought, floods or a shortage of Labour due to war, so have to buy of our own little hero who then gets to crow about his good fortune because of somebody elses misfortune. The Farmer gets to Crow that he does not need us bludgers because he has overseas customers, but for how long. What did we learn from the AWB scandal, millions of TAX PURSE MONEY wasted so that we could look like having exports. GDP looked good but did our Tax Purse benefit, NO. It took Tax Money to make Tax money just so our Farmers could say, WE Don't Need You!

But what happened when their own union body The Farmers Fed. set on money to buy Patricks Wharf. The rest of society had to collect and donate so that the, ("WE Don't Need You, YOU need us's, The Ego Maniacs.") could survive the Droughts, floods, overseas economic down turns, but still they want to make more and get more, with hand outs from the Government in the form of Trade Deals, Overseas Trade Missions and Subsidies at the expense of the Tax Purse that they apparently feed into, not out of. But thats a bit like the unempoyment figures or GDP figures. SCHMALTZ. All that just so they can say that they are better then us, smarter, work harder, what ever.

77% of all Australians do not pay Taxes! That includes the so called brilliant Business's, our Saviours, who in realty would be nothing without the Tax Purse and the Consumer Chain the PURSE feeds, by what ever means. Direct intervention through wages and Government Employment or subsidise and financial assitance packages to assist Business in either business creation or some form of indirect assitance. The CSIRO used to be an indirect form of assitance to Australian Business at the Tax Purses expense until all this Privatisation Bull caused them to Poo into their own nest. They now or we are told that they now pay for any of that Knowledge, Knowledge the Boneheads got for nothing once. Tax payer funded Agri Colleges added to the Farming Knowledge base at no expense to Farmers.

We can all twist the known knowns and unknown to suit an argument but at the end of the day society functions because of all of us, sometimes there is just too many of us, even business's and hence forth we have had wars, culling the breeders, the too many, when the Tax Purse can no longer employ us or support the Business through indirect hand outs and THEY certainly don't want to employ the consumers who consume their Products., LEAVE that to the Government, the bad evil nanny Government, thats just like a mother or the law. Only needed when we need clean undies or someone bigger then us wants to kick our asses. Most people are like Rats on a sinking ship.

What drives all this drivel, EGO. Male Ego thats looking for a Vain Bimbo B#@$%^H cause they can't handle a woman with brains.

Truth is the only way, as long as you have a need to understand it and want to. Greedy People or Thieves don't like Truth.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 17:23

@pan.sapiens

I was an organic farmer, so the less said about artificial fertilisers the better.

There are a growing number of African economists writing about the damage wealth redistribution has done to African society, how both domestic taxation policies and international foreign aid have kept Africa poor, how the solution to the problem of poverty is for poor nations to develop market-based systems of generating their own wealth.

And that is without even considering the political consequences of foreign aid, which historically has served primarily to keep kleptocratic dictatorships in place, viciously and violently oppressing their people while they lived high on the hog. Band-Aid's role in giving Mengistu another 10 years of despotic rule in Ethiopia is well-known.

There is no biological reason why Africa could not produce the same surplus of food Australia does – or India, or China, or anywhere else for that matter – they just need to abandon the one relic of colonial times that keeps them poor: socialist thinking.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 18:00

@jackal01

If you grow food for money, no matter how greedy you are you can never earn more than the market lets you, and history shows that the market price of food falls and falls and falls.

No trade deal can make it rise, as trade can only add to the number of sources for food. If foreign sources are more expensive than domestic sources, and domestic sources were sufficient prior to the trade deal to meet market demand, then the price will be whatever the domestic supplier is willing to accept which will certainly not be <i>higher </i>because suddenly they are facing competition from foreign producers.

Local suppliers fight to protect their markets, usually claiming a threat from some foreign disease, precisely because overseas suppliers can sell more cheaply, not because their bananas are more expensive than our bananas. They wouldn't fear that!

It is true as you say that the farmer "is nothing without consumers either here or abroad". But this is also true of the miner, the manufacturer, the professional, and the rest of the productive sector. Indirectly it is also true of the unproductive sector as well, those mowing each other's lawns, as whatever possessions they have were originally produced in the productive sector, including the food that keeps them alive.

As for the waterfront dispute, look at the suicide figures for farmers in the wake of their losing that particular battle. And look too, at the rise in the number of single-vehicle accidents where the driver was a farmer, not recorded as suicides because the farmer needed his death to be recorded as an accident so his life insurance policy would provide the living for his family we as a society had decided to deny him by siding with the thugs and standover merchants of the MUA.

We said this is <i>not </i>a free country where you can set up your own wharf and staff it with workers who want to give a fair day's work for a fair day's pay – this is a country where the law says you must export all produce through docks monopolised and controlled by the MUA, many of whom do not work at all (but still draw six-figure incomes), a quarter of whom have convictions for violence or are "known to the police", and most of whom work a variety of rorts on the docks which add yet more to the farmer's costs.

We said not only will we side with the MUA but we will paint you as the bad guys, you who are honest and decent and work every hour God gives to try and make a living from the land – we will paint <i>you </i>as the merchants of violence, as the ones seeking to do something immoral. When your security staff wear balaclavas to protect their identities from revenge attacks by the thugs and standover merchants of the MUA, we will call <i>them </i>thugs, and we will call you all manner of derogatory names for having employed them.

And so all that seems left is suicide. Happy now, jackal01?

jackal01
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:43

aussiegreg, good comments mostly, started well finished poorly.

"We said this is not a free country where you can set up your own wharf and staff it with workers who want to give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay"

My Comment: I don't think anyone ever said you couldn't do it. its how you went about it. Training Strike Breakers in Dubai. Seperating the workers from the Assets by moving the workers into a shelf company.

Sending it broke so that the Tax Purse you all try to avoid paying into would pick up the cost of the redundancy. While your own General/Mengistu Peter Reith and Son were rorting the system with the Phone Card scandal.

Human beings are corrupt MUA, Catholics, Jews, Aust. Germans, what ever.

AWB was corruption, The baby bonus was and so was selling our gold at 325.00, as is foreign aid.

Read
6 Sep 2012
Australia Invented Pacific 'Boomerang Aid'

There are many forms of corruption, like selling your Farm for a Motza at Windsor, buy some brown garbage out in the back of Burke for cheap and then expecting subsidize or hand outs from the Tax Purse you don't want to feed.

The Farmers Son working to build fences and claiming the Dole. There are as many rorts as there are people. We can pick and choose to suit our arguments. Farmers have a Problem with there being too many small once who can't get market share because, size matters. Farmers started to suffer when they moved our of the Camden/Windsor areas to Farm out in the brown bits because the Land was cheaper. Unsustainable Farming in a harsh land that needs Capital input to sustain, but who's Capital.

The hand out Cow is dying because nobody wants to put money in and nobody is. As I said 77% of all Australians live of the Tax Purse and that includes you. The vast Majority of Consumers who consume your Products are payed an income by the Tax Purse or a people who derive their income from somebody who works directly for the Tax Purse.

Now I have to go, go to work, get back.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 - 19:54

@jackal01

Thankyou for your faint praise.

The <i>court </i>said you couldn't do it, that the industrial relations legislation meant the MUA had an effective monopoly over all employment on any dock anywhere in Australia. As for how the Farmers Federation went about it, they had to train their alternative workforce, easily demonised as strike breakers even when there was no strike, overseas, because had they trained in Australia the thugs and standover merchants of the MUA would have broken their heads with baseball bats. It's what they do for a living in lieu of actually working. They had to separate the workers who weren't even half working from the assets they needed to have the new workers who <i>would</i> be working make use of.

And they didn't send the enterprise broke, the courts did that, and the cost that fell on those nearly-broke farmers added to the personal pressures I've already detailed in driving them to suicide. Whatever the truth of the Phone Card scandal, at its worst Reith&Son were guilty of misdemeanour theft, while the thugs and standover merchants of the MUA were guilty of innumerable indictable offences involving violence – no comparison there.

You clearly have a very elastic idea of corruption – perhaps it's a biblical one! I prefer the expression "two wrongs don't make a right", and what we have done to the innocent farmers of this country is about as wrong as government action can get.

I don't know any farmers who have sold a farm anywhere for a Motza, nor do I know any, myself included, who have ever accepted a cent from the "Tax Purse". Filled up the "Tax Purse", yes, drawn anything from it, no. I have known plenty of farmers' sons working on the family farm including fencing, but not one of them has ever claimed the Dole. There may be some who have, and they deserve to be prosecuted as welfare cheats, but I will guarantee all the dole bludgers working today in the offices of Greens and Labor parliamentarians will never see the inside of a courtroom.

Your "77% of all Australians live of the Tax Purse and that includes you" argument is true only in the sense that if there was a single corporation with 28% of the business in Australia, a majority of us would live off that single company as well. I can point to what I <i> produced</i>, to those hundreds of tonnes of food that would not have existed without my efforts, and which outweigh by hundreds of tonnes anything I may personally have acquired, directly or indirectly, from the government.

fightmumma
Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 - 21:37

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=farmers%20committing%20suicide...

I found this...it's about mental health and suicide in farming populations - an interesting read...links to globalisation processes too and all those economic forces both in being competitive, profits and in terms of reduced levels of social/health spending in contemporary political ideology ie neoliberalism.

Puts another angle on food security if the health, safety and wellbeing of our farming communities, farmers and their families is under such pressure.

An interseting statistic I read recently too - the world's wealthiest 20% make up 76.6% of the world's consumption and the world's poorest 20% consume 1.5% of world consumption. So is this issue about our ABILITY to PRODUCE adequate amounts of nutritious food OR about distribution, power, control, capitalism, trade regulation, alliances????? I also read recently about the Indo-Norwegian Project to develop the fishing industry in India (Kerala). The book mentioned the impact son local, village fishing commnuities - in the end they lost their own livelihoods and couldn't even afford to buy the fish anymore! Now there'sa great need for social, economic etc programs to "help" these people recover and rebuild from this "fine" "development". I wonder who really benefitted? Who is going to bed on an empty stomach tonight?

jackal01
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:44

aussiegreg
quick note

"You clearly have a very elastic idea of corruption – perhaps it’s a biblical one! I prefer the expression “two wrongs don’t make a right”,

and what we have done to the innocent farmers of this country is about as wrong as government action can get."

My take:
Innocent Farmers, there is and was no such thing as an Innocent Farmer. Just because you guys employed your own Union Body to do your dirty work at arms length doesn't make you innocent.

The Allied Armies excuse and one that they low lifes got away with for bombing women and children "Innocent People who didn't Vote or even like Adolf and his mind set." Was they should have known and should have done more to stop Adolf, complicity is and was punishable.
Saying you didn't know is and was no excuse then and should not be an excuse now. We set the standards, remember.

You lot created the Farmers Federation, your own thuggy union body, to give you collective power, but like to be seen as individuals when it suits, which is typical of Lib supporters. You voted for the scum so that they would take us into another Vietnam, now you come up with, we didn't know.

If your going to do like the Germans and you did to the Germans then face up to your own standards, the standards you set for others, which gave us the moral high ground to brow beat them.

So be a man and front up.

Our old English Masters were the Landed Gentry in England they made life miserable for our forefathers so most came over here to have a go at being Landed Gentry here, some pulled it off and we went to war to save them from economic ruin and what did they do for us, nothing.

They influenced Politics with their then power to screw the workers and to crush any mention of Pedophilia in the bush, they had a Movie banned which went to expose the crime.

Your very good at this Innocent bull, you sound like a domesticly violant husband who commits the crime then cries victim.

Sorry Son. Men need to take responcibility for their sexual/mental weakness and so do women. If its good enough for us then its good enough for you Farmers. The bush was never quite where it is now, just as Sydney expanded westward so too did Farming and with that move west came certain difficulties, like Mount Victoria Pass etc. which meant costs.

The Moral is, because every little Farmers Son wanted to be a big time Farmer and Gentry, more and more Land had to be Grabbed of the Indiginous People and ever westward they went, more roads had to be built etc. etc.

Their is no "innocent" when it comes to humanity.

It was unsustainable they moved too far west and in.

More later, work.

EarthFan
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 01:23

Thomas Malthus was right. The only thing that can prove him wrong is reproductive restraint. Australia and most of the developed world have reduced their baby booms to fewer than two children per woman - less than replacement levels. The only way to save the planet is to insist that other countries do what we have already done.

It is not an accident that asylum seekers are coming from places in the world that still have high birth rates. Poverty breeds conflict and high birth rates breed poverty. We should not enable and encourage heavy breeding by offering their children a western standard of living.

We should not be resettling any refugees. Instead, all our humanitarian aid should be directed towards providing education and family planning technology to women and girls wherever it is needed.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:12

15 July 2012 13:23:33

EarthFan
You are absolutely right.
We must also apply that standard to ourselves.
The problem we have as humans is most of us can't bring ourselves up in the Standards Race to the Bottom, we need to drag others down, so that we can look superior to those beneath us. That's why the poor are getting poorer.

The west and its Culture is a Pyramid Game, who and what is at the tip, where all the money flows has changed.

Wealth creation was once in Land, Primary Production then Industrialization made people rich just from inventing the Cable Tie or the wire Coat Hanger. The Landed Gentry once purchased these ideas and then sold them as their own.

The Refugee Program, both creating and then resettling them is created to make our way of life, capitalism look right and is a useful tool to crush our Economic opponents. Australia tries to remain insulated from this by using the vastness of our Oceans as an excuse. If they come here the have to come by boat, in boats they drown, we can't let them drown, Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink so go to Europe our Economic Competition or our American Nannies Competition, Refugees can walk there or its a much shorter trip and therefore become a Burden on the social economy, help to create discontent amongst Europe's Population which can then be Exploited as it was to bring about WW1 and WW2.

People need to realize that creating Refugees has become a Game, a Tool. The Catholic Church created the poor and their for Poverty to give themselves a life, a need, reason to exist. Charities are now Business's to create well payed Senior executive Positions for the Wives of the Rich. Somebody learned from the Catholics and creating Poverty/refugees has become a Political Tool to create discontent, Divide and Conquer. We are supposed to be happy with our lot because poorer people want to come here, but all they do is make us poorer. Because our economies struggle with the job Creation, not the Consumerism. retailers love extra Consumers, even Charities now Buy brand new TV's rather then recycle the old. Look at most of the Refugee's that have been resettled so far, they all wear brand new.

Charity in this Country has become a means to provide income to retailers as it has become a way for American Farmers to get rid of their farm Production after Communism in Russia Collapsed.

Our Problem is that we, the people are slow to catch on, the Media has been Corrupted for at least a hundred years, we have only now caught on. Religion has always been a Pawn or equal partner in Controling and benefitting from that control. The Monarchs and Religion got rid of Napoleon because he took Land away from the churches to control the masses for I suppose his own drive towards glory. Hitler and the Church got together, but the Catholics baled out once war was a certainty, why.

It is said the Crime is Pro Active and Justice Re-active. The same can be said in the struggle against Poverty. Our Masters are Pro-Active and we the great unwashed are Re-Active, it takes us years to figure out that we have been LED up a Garden Path, mislead. Years of Poverty and struggle. What for, so that our Masters Can be in the drivers seat and the Lackey's/Retailers/Business people in the front passenger seat, but where is the Car actualy heading, to an amusement park so that we can all be happy or a deserted paddock so we can get a bullet between the ears.

Like I said Breeding Cows and Milking Cows, those bred for slaughter and those bred to keep breeding. We know why most animals are slaughtered, but what about us humans where do some of us fail, that makes us disposable, wher we get picked to go onto the truck and the Elite's get to go back to the paddock, until the next round up/muster.

Are you realy free as a human, why are so many refugees in camps. reservations of old, holding Pens?. They breed too much?.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:18

Don't forget that the Aristocrats need religion far more then us, because the Monarchies Family tree only goes back so far, before that GOD. So, they are God like, decendents of GOD and have a right, a right that was given to them by Churches, Coronations etc. etc., where as us Peasants came from under Mushrooms.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 14:05

Really, jackal01, "there is and was no such thing as an Innocent Farmer"? Not <i>one</i>? Or are you going religious on me again, "we are all sinners" etc?

I don't believe even <i>you</i> believe the Farmers Federation is the moral equivalent of the MUA, using systematic violence to protect what is essentially a criminal enterprise on the docks. But what if the Farmers Federation <i>was</i> a "thuggy union body"? What if it called its members out on strike? How would its employers, the food consumers of Australia, like going hungry?

BTW, it has been farmers in country New South Wales using up the spare time they don't have to expose paedophile priests. It has been the churches and their puppets in Macquarie Street who have been the ones to suppress any mention of it (and especially any mention in the courts).

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 14:13

EarthFan - "Poverty breeds conflict and high birth rates breed poverty" - this is too simplistic!

There are multiple factors contributing to the prevalence, volitility and nature of poverty and conflict in various countries across the globe, you simply cannot accurately attribute complex social conditions soley to birth rates! Indeed, population growth involves rates of births AND deaths and other factors that Malthus mentions in his theories (famine/disease), and human conflict/war.

Western lifestyles do not guarantee either sustainable population growth rates OR production, availability and access to food - great pockets of population groups in Western societies still live below the poverty level for their countries, still in poverty and still going hungry, other factors such as obesity and diabetes are making the conditions for the first time in a very long time, where future generations will actually have LOWER life expectancy than the previous generation. So "Western lifestyle," of itself, doesn't guarantee anything predictable - except for those in upper and upper-middleclass socioeconomic groups.

Western countries are dominated by market economies which prey on the vulnerablity of developing and poorer countries, using social dumping, taking advantage of lower labour and social/environmental protections - this both contributes to keeping these countries poor and to keeping sectors of Western countries very wealthy and powerful. Many multinational corporations have more wealth than some entire national economies - the influence, negotiating power and decisions made in terms of food production, industries, labour etc is imbalanced - and not in favour of the poorer countries OR of the poorer sectors of those poor countries.

Western tendencies for over-consumption do little to help the health of this planet - soil degradation, waste, pollution, deforestation and desertification - not to forget the whole global warming rising sea levels - this isn't originating in the poorer countries but in that nations that are doing the over-consumption - that is the wealthy 20% I mentioned above doing 76.6% of the world's consumption...thus is the responsibility of that 20% to be responsible, consume in relation to needs and act on the consequences of their actions/decisions and governments' policies.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 20:40

aussiegreg
Posted Wednesday, 07 November 12 at 2:05PM

Can't disagree with you there, all in all we are a sad and sorry bunch.

At the end of the Day when it comes to all these starving and why they are on this planet.

We only need to ask 1 Question.

Does this Planet need Humanity or does Humanity need this Planet. There are millions of Planets out there but none we know of that supports life as we know it.

So, 7 billion of us don't do the Planet any favours and therefore us.

Olivier
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 11:54

I'm liking these ideas on feeding the billions:
We do breed more than we should.
We do pay less of our income on food than we should.
We do fail to use our outputs (urine, defecation, kitchen scraps, leaves, branches, roadkill, etc) as inputs to replace soil fertility.
We recent spoiled generations have failed to grow some of our own food.
We recent disconnected generations have commodified an essential need in life, to the point it is traded speculatively.

jackal01
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 19:56

Olivier, Oh so True.

We need a Discussion on this, not just here, but around the world.
The only idiots who don't want to have that talk are the retailers and the rich who need a growth in Consumerism to feed Speculation in shares to their Adventures in Greed.

Why are and were we told that we are Tax Payers, when we are not.

Why were we told that American Democracy is the greatest when it is not, Why didn't the Germans end up with American Style Democracy instead they ended up with something unexploitable.

Why are we told we need babies then kick mothers in the teeth when they happen to be Mothers of Peasant background and or single.

Their are a lot of Why's out there we need to ask and answer.

Why are we told that there a plenty of Jobs when there are not, how many applicants does a Boss want for the Job and why, drive down wages, why, so that the Consumer/s has less money to spend in his Shop.

Why are we told that the Consumer is different to the workers and not one and the same person/s.

Why are retailers who bludge of the Tax Purse same as Government Workers etc. better then any one who works for the Government and consumes the Retailers Junk and at a 100 to 400 % mark up.

Think people

EarthFan
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 23:24

Fightmumma: Are you claiming that high birthrates do NOT breed poverty?

fightmumma
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 00:19

earthfan - i think what i said is very clear - poverty has multiple causes. You forget that birthrate of itself does not determine a population, so using birthrate as the basis of your argument lacks depth and scope. If you are interested in helping solve problems of poverty and access to adequate food/water and basic health care - wouldn't you want to gain a detailed representation of what is going on?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. aussiegreg
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 04:37

@fightmumma

An interesting paper, if spoilt for a language pedant like me by its "academic illiteracy": endless misspellings and grammatical howlers.

I observe for what it is worth that nowhere in the lengthy section on financial stress does it mention the fact that farmers face perennial falls in the prices of the food they produce, that is, regular reductions in their income. Imagine how the unions would howl (and rightly so) if their members were asked to absorb even a single cut in their pay, let alone repeated cuts amounting to a halving of their income over a generation.

Ah, Kerala. A tropical paradise until recently ruled over by a Marxist State government, amazingly doing a better job than its chronically incompetent neighbours. A State of cashew plantations and hugs from Mata Amritanandamayi, site of the first Christian church to be established outside the Holy Land, when St Thomas the Apostle landed at Kodungalloor in 50AD.

When I was there in 1997 their fishing industry seemed vibrant – I broke my vegetarian rule to try the local delicacy Karimeen, a tiny and very circular fish the size of a saucer which I saw caught by my host from a traditional vessel using traditional nets in the backwaters behind Cochin.

Certainly any influence, good or bad, from the 1950s-60s Indo-Norwegian Project, other than the presence of ports built under it, was not visible to my eye.

And the internet isn't a lot of help in understanding your concern, although the usual suspects are crying disaster in the destruction of the Kerala offshore fishery by motorised trawlers (or what we would have called regular fishing boats for the last 100 years.

becnis
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 20:24

Hi Ben,
Shame there's no mention here of agroecology - a sustainable approach to farming recommended by the largest ever peer reviewed study on agriculture - the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, the synthesis report can be found at: http://www.agassessment.org/
It's endorsed by the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.

Also no mention of Food Sovereignty, a necessary discussion if we are to redirect away from corporate control in the food system and towards local/regional food systems that ensure peoples access to food. More info can be found at the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance's website:
http://australian.foodsovereigntyalliance.org/
Regards,
Bec.

jackal01
Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 06:23

fightmumma

Its called Nacro and Micro, you don'y always have to have Micro to form a basic understanding.

The fact that the Catholic's had to accept that the Anti Condom Policies created poverty in Africa and Latin America, plus the 7 Billion and exploding from here on in, should be cause enough for us to sit up and take notice.

on OVER Population, just because nobody and mostly the brain dead breeders wanted to Talk about it doesn't mean we don't already know.