The New Geopolitics of Food

“Prices [of food] are climbing, but the impact is not at all being felt equally,” argues Lester Brown in Foreign Policy. Temperature increases, drying wells, mismanagement of soils, and ever-increasing population growth, with an additional 80 million of people to feed per year, are behind the price hikes. As a result, the gap between food supply and demand is widening, carrying political implications. The bubble in food production in the Middle East caused by overuse of aquifers and the recent wave of popular protest serves as a warning for India and China, where other large food bubbles are occurring. Tensions are emerging over land leases for grain production between countries, totaling almost 140 million acres, with local farmers protesting, from the Philippines to Madagascar. Brown warns, “the world now needs to focus not only on agricultural policy, but on a structure that integrates it with energy, population, and water policies, each of which directly affects food security” – before the world enters a permanent state of food shortages. – YaleGlobal

The New Geopolitics of Food

From the Middle East to Madagascar, high prices are spawning land grabs and ousting dictators. Welcome to the 21st-century food wars
Lester R. Brown
Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, is author of World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.

All contents ©2011 The Slate Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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