In this article, agrofuels are examined in the context of the world food price crisis and the “food sovereignty” proposal for addressing the crisis. Both short- and long-term causes of the crisis are examined, and while agrofuels are presently not a prime causal factor they are clearly contraindicated by the crisis. Food sovereignty, including a moratorium on agrofuels, is argued to offer the best option for managing the crisis.
ABSTRACT. The recent world food price crisis highlights what many have thought for a long time: the world’s food and agriculture system is broken. Few winners remain in the aftermath of the severe crisis, in which prices for basic food commodities (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans) increased dramatically in 2007 and 2008, only to fall rapidly in the second half of 2008. Although down from their high points, commodity prices are still about double those of the early 2000s.
ABSTRACT. During the first months of 2007, Mexicans took to the streets to protest a sudden doubling of the price of corn tortillas, the mainstay of the national diet. Government officials and industry blamed the increase of corn prices in the global market on the widespread promotion of ethanol production from corn as part of the agro-fuels initiatives being promoted by then President George W. Bush and President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.
ABSTRACT Peter Rosset examines the current global food price crisis, identifying both long- and shortterm causes. He argues that to escape the crisis, countries must rebuild and protect domestic peasant and family farmer food production and public inventories. The ‘food sovereignty’ paradigm put forth by the global peasant and farmer alliance, La Via Campesina, may well offer our only way out of the current conundrum.
KEYWORDS food crisis; food sovereignty; La Via Campesina; peasant; farmers; agrofuels; hedge funds
ABSTRACT. Industry and mainstream research and policy institutions often suggest that transgenic crop varieties can raise the productivity of poor third world farmers, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty. These claims are critically evaluated by examining global-hunger data, the constraints that affect the productivity of small farmers in the third world, and the factors that explain their poverty. No significant role is found for crop genetics in determining hunger, productivity, or poverty, casting
Advocates of biotechnology affirm that the application of genetic engineering to develop transgenic crops will increase world agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and move agriculture away from a dependence on chemical inputs helping to reduce