Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Climate Change and Biofuels on World Food Day 2012

October 16 is a special day for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year at this time food becomes the center of attention and this year agricultural cooperatives are the focus of World Food Day 2012. The day is intended to raise awareness and understanding of approaches to ending hunger. The 2012 theme was chosen to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger. Interest in cooperatives and rural organizations is also reflected in the decision of the UN General Assembly to designate 2012 “International Year of Cooperatives.”

Two major issues that directly impact World Food Day are climate change and biofuels. In 2012 climate change induced extreme weather has wreaked havoc on world food prices and threatens to increase global hunger. The use of agricultural lands for Biofuels have also increased the likelihood of global hunger. In the US, 40 percent of maize yields are converted to ethanol to power vehicles. The UN estimates that 1 in 8 people on the planet are now living in chronic hunger conditions.

Grain reserves around the world are dangerously low and key agricultural foods are forecasted to fall dangerously low in 2013 due to devastating droughts that have hit the US, Russia, the Black Sea region and Australia. Conversely excessive rain has destroyed wheat, maize and apple crops in parts of northern Europe.

The inadequacy of agricultural yields is partly attributable to large scale chemical-dependent farming. There is evidence to support the contention that ecological farming methods are more effective than the methods employed by corporate agriculture.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Articles
Food Production and UN Millennium Development Goals
Population Growth and Global Food Production
Food Production and Climate Change
Breaking the Cycle of Famine
There is Enough Water to Feed the World
US Soybean Farmers Can Help to Feed the World
Blog Action Day 2011: Food
Food Production and Climate Change
The Biofuels Pipedream
US Military may Stop Buying Biofuels
Earth Day Special: Green Blueprint
The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity

No comments: