World Hunger Is About Politics, Power & Rights More Than Crop Yields & Biotech

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A quickie, this is great: Next time someone tries telling you that without using such and such genetically engineered biotech crop we won't be able to solve world hunger, just quote them some Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food:

People are hungry not because there is too little food: they are hungry because they are marginalized economically and powerless politically. Securing the right to food is therefore the only path to durably tackling hunger.

The importance of improving the incomes of the poor, facilitating internal and foreign investment, and increasing agricultural yields cannot be downplayed in the hunger equation. But for genuine, sustainable progress to be made in tackling hunger and malnutrition, political processes must first be made accountable, participative, and attuned to the cross-cutting complexities of the hunger question.

Only when the political process is human rights-proofed in this way can we be confident that the reinvestment in a country and its agriculture will truly benefit the poor and food insecure.

Read more: The Drum

By the way, De Schutter has also said some choice words on the role of sustainable agriculture:

To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available.Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments. [...] To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects. Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years.

Conventional farming relies on expensive inputs, fuels climate change and is not resilient to climatic shocks. It simply is not the best choice anymore today.

Tags: Agriculture | Environmental Justice | Genetically Modified Food | Poverty