Agriculture / Food Security / Markets / Trade

G20 agriculture ministers meet this week: Must invest in food markets to bolster food security–Guardian

Commercial dairying in northeastern India

Workers unload milk cans at a commercial dairy plant in Dimapur, Nagaland, India (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

A blog in the Guardian this week argues for the G20 agriculture ministers meeting this week to support ‘new investment in farming and vibrant, transparent markets to address food security.’

‘As the G20 agriculture ministers prepare to meet for the first time this week, they will be tasked with addressing a series of complex challenges that have an impact on everyone from smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs to scientists, policymakers, financiers and food consumers around the world.

‘In other words, we all have good reason to take notice. Ensuring global food security entails weighing a series of related but independent challenges to identify possible synergies and opportunity costs. . . .

‘What brings these variables together is agricultural markets—specifically, how they function and how and when they fail. We must support and build these markets, but also build plans for when they perform poorly or cannot meet social needs. . . .

‘Our population is expected to grow more rapidly than our crop yield increases can handle. This means the gap will continue to grow between food supply and demand, and that higher food prices could become a feature of world markets. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the annual rate of growth in agricultural production is expected to fall from 2.3% (since 1961) to 1.5% (between now and 2030) while food prices have doubled between 2006-08 and continue to rise.

‘The G20 agriculture ministers have a duty to ensure all recent commitments are honoured and that the underlying issues for food insecurity remain top priorities for world leaders.’

Read the whole article in the Guardian‘s Poverty Matters Blog: Investment in agriculture and access to markets will help to feed the world, 20 June 2011.

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