The IMF has warned of an impending food crisis, with millions facing starvation as food costs spiral. So bad will it be that future wars may be about food. But what is the problem here? Why are people soon to face starvation?
The IMF blame population rises, failed harvests and biofuels diverting much of agriculture away from food production. These points are, of course, valid. But they fail to take into account the true reason behind all this.
Much of the Third World used to feed itself quite adequately.
Modern commentators like to say this is not true, but if they had been incompetent food producers throughout history, they would have all starved to death centuries ago.
But their food production methods were no good for a modern world. It provided enough to live on, without much surplus. And no surplus means not enough trading. Hence, it was the IMF and World Bank themselves that came to ‘aid’ them.
This came in the form of monoculture.
In other words, destroying the diversity of their local food production in order to produce mainly to feed the west. This did, of course, require massive investment from the west, locking the Third World in debt and restrictive agriculture.
Overusing the nourishment of the land, and replacing it with fertilizer, etc, much of the land is now becoming useless. Don’t you think it strange that the IMF isn’t mentioning their complicity here in the coming food shortages?
© Anthony North, April 2008
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