Archive for the ‘food security’ Category

Thailand May Sell More Rice, Crush Vietnam and World Market price

January 22, 2009

Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, is considering selling up to 5m tonnes from its stockpile – equal to a fifth of the world’s annually traded rice.

From FT

The market is worried that such a large disposal could put further downward pressure on prices, which have halved since spiking last year to an all-time high of about $1,100 a tonne.

Thai medium quality rice, the world’s benchmark, however, has showed resilience, trading at $580 a tonne, more than double the price in 2007, supported by fresh demand from importers in Africa, brokers said.

Thailand’s stockpile has built up as a result of its policy of buying surplus production at above market prices in an effort to protect the incomes of farmers.

The country has been paying its farmers a premium of about 30 per cent for their crops in a bid to shield them from lower prices and high production costs, particularly of fertilisers.

The Ministry of Commerce, which controls the rice reserve, has yet to decide whether to release the stocks onto the open market, which could hit world prices, or try to dispose of it in a government-to-government deal. Thailand and Iran have talked in the past about such a deal.

The Vietnamese government recently concluded a deal to sell 500,000 tonnes to the Philippines, the world’s largest importer, at a price of $420 a tonne including freight. The two countries are also talking about further shipments of about 1.0-1.5m tonnes.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/820ab62c-e8a0-1
1dd-a4d0-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1

Above: Vietnamese farmers harvest rice…

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Food Security, Supply Needs Totally New Thinking

December 28, 2008

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of “new fundamentals”, according to a leading food expert.

Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing “structural failures”, such as “astronomic” environmental costs.

The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added.

Professor Lang is a member of the UK government’s newly formed Food Council.

BBC

Vegetables (Getty Images)

Food crops, agriculture and biodiversity cannot be separated from one another

“Essentially, what we are dealing with at the moment is a food system that was laid down in the 1940s,” he told BBC News.

“It followed on from the dust bowl in the US, the collapse of food production in Europe and starvation in Asia.

“At the time, there was clear evidence showing that there was a mismatch between producers and the need of consumers.”

Professor Lang, from City University, London, added that during the post-war period, food scientists and policymakers also thought increasing production would reduce the cost of food, while improving people’s diets and public health.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7795652.stm

America’s Future? Grim Reality Unless Major Changes Are Adopted

December 10, 2008

In the future, America will be more diverse, more open to gays and more ploitically correct.

Americans will be even more caring for the human rights of their fellow man.

But Americans will generally be less wealthy, more stupid, more drug addicted and mezmerized by the future of the Internet and “Dancing With The Stars.”

Can another conclusion be reached?

America has lost or given away its industrial prowess.  Even the “Big 3” auto companies are on the public dole.

VysokePece1.jpg

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are up.  And if you go to any hospital for “care,” you’ll end up loaded with drugs.

Americans are working harder, playing less and earning less for more than ever before.

And our schools are failing miserably.

America still has massive military might: but many lawmakers want to give this away and spend the money on “other priorities.”

The USS Ronald Reagan
Above: Symbol of American greatness or a big bill payer?

In the future America, food security may be an issue, we could run out of water, and our health care system may collapse.

I didn’t make all this up: I am just good at reading the tea leaves (and the headlines).

Barack Obama has a full plate.  And so do parents, lawmakers, teachers and business executives: if we want to see a brighter future for our grandchildren.

Related:

 U.S. Students Failing International Science Measures

Government Picks Winners, Losers, Calls Other Shots and Pays The Bills: Happy Now?

Get the Feeling Russia and China Are Slicing Up The World and the U.S. Will Be Left Out?

Juggernaut of U.S. Industrial Might Now “Rust Belt,” For Good Or Bad?

California Water Crisis Signals Warning for Other States

Lofty Hopes, Dreams Shattered By Politics, Terrorism, Economy, Other Realities

World Hunger Rising; Food Prices, Security at Issue

December 10, 2008

A U.N. report says hunger is on the rise globally and blames higher food prices.

CNN
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Populations within conflict zones such as the Democratic Republic of Congo are particularly vulnerable.

Populations within conflict zones such as the Democratic Republic of Congo are particularly vulnerable.

The Food and Agriculture Organization has issued preliminary estimates classifying 963 million people as undernourished — an increase of 40 million people over the past year.

“One out of seven people — about 15 percent — suffer chronically of not having enough to eat,” said Mark Smulders, an FAO economist.

The hunger report — titled “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008” — said the world’s financial and economic problems could throw more people into poverty.

The number of hungry had been increasing over the years before the rise in food prices, with warfare and political instability continuing to be among the factors causing poverty.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe
/12/09/starvation.united.nations/index.ht
ml?section=cnn_latest

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The goal of halving the number of hungry people in the world by 2015 is becoming ever more elusive, with 40 million more people plunged into chronic hunger this year, the UN food agency’s chief said on Tuesday.

AFP

“For many countries, the world goal of reducing hunger by half is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve,” Food and Agriculture Organisation Director-General Jacques Diouf told a news conference, referring to one of the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000.

“This sad reality should not be acceptable at the dawn of the 21st century,” the FAO chief said, adding: “Even the objective of cutting by half the number of hungry by 2015 is morally unacceptable.”

The global food crisis has added 40 million more people to the ranks of the hungry this year, taking the estimated number to 963 million, he said, unveiling the Rome-based agency’s annual report on world food insecurity.

The crisis affects mainly the poorest, the landless and female-headed households, says the report, “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081209/hl_afp/unfoo
dhunger_081209172513