By Sung Lee
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
Fit for the future? The Rocky Road to a New Set of Development Goals, Opinion, Lysa John and Stephen Hale, Guardian, April 25
The UN-led process must reflect the need for wide ownership, and the new division of global economic and political power and responsibility, if it is to lead the world's governments to an agreement and action on the challenges facing the world in 2015 and the decade after it. Three things should be done to avoid replicating the mistakes of the past.
Why Food Security is Not Just a Problem for the Third World, The Telegraph, April 24
The world has suffered two dramatic price spikes since 2008, and in China – now the powerhouse of the global economy – food price inflation was running at over 13 per cent as recently as September last year. Food security is a serious issue, and one that deserves much closer attention than it gets. Because in addition to being important in itself, food security is also interconnected with a number of other serious issues about which all of us have cause to be concerned.
Aid Agencies Seek a Billion Dollars for Sahel Relief, VOA News, April 24
Humanitarian agencies say at least one billion dollars is needed to prevent many people from going hungry in Africa’s Sahel region. They say about 15 million people are affected by a deepening food crisis. The UN has appealed for more than $700 million dollars, but so far has received less than half. Also a coalition of four NGOs is requesting $250 million for Sahel aid efforts. Only about $52 million has been raised.
Food Aid Effectiveness Awaits Action on Farm Bill, Opinion, Connie Veillette, Center for Global Development, April 24
I would prefer the nature of the food emergency to determine whether U.S. commodities or LRP is used rather than some formula that makes more sense for Washington politics than for global hunger. Increasing incentives for agricultural innovation or using cash transfer programs could be extremely efficient and effective new ways to fight hunger. And eliminating both cargo preference and monetization would allow every food dollar to go about 30 percent further and produce estimated savings of roughly $260 to $400 million annually.
Government Keeps Picking Winners, Losers on the Farm, Opinion, Jack Hedin, Bloomberg, April 24
There are many reasons public support for agriculture is critical to rural economies, to the security and stability of our nation’s food supply, and to the American public. The point isn’t to argue that support should be eliminated or even reduced; with 2 percent of the nation’s population producing all the food, society has a strong interest in providing a safety net for this tiny minority.