A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

477 million farmers in the world suffer from hunger

October 29, 2012

In its latest report on world hunger issued on October 9, the FAO says that 870 million people are starving. This means that, between 2010 and 2012, one out of every eight people in the world is suffering from chronic malnutrition. Based on a new calculation methodology that led to adjusting statistics for the past two decades, this latest evaluation shows that the number of starving people declined over ten years, yet did stabilize over the past few years. In 2010, the FAO had reported that 925 million people were affected.

For the FAO, the causes of such stagnation include rising food prices, speculation or climate change. Yet, the organization feels that with suitable measures, achieving the Millennium Development Goals––halving the ratio of undernourished people in developing countries by 2015––is still feasible. Among these measures, the FAO advocates stimulating economic growth––especially concerning small farmers––and implementing social security systems.

Admitting that “agricultural growth is highly effective in curbing hunger and malnutrition in poor countries”, is admitting the fact that worldwide farmers act as catalysts. Yet, the World Food Program indicates that 56 percent of undernourished people are farmers, which now corresponds to 477 million people.

This silent majority, which remains unwilling to speak out, is mostly found in developing countries (DCs), and is not part of the conventional channels of international economic trade. How then can we design an exit strategy from underdevelopment for these small landless farmers?

Given that close to half of the world’s population directly relies on the production of small local farmers for food, one can easily understand why farmers are the drivers in the fight against food insecurity. All the more so since agricultural production must be increased by 70 percent to feed the world’s nine billion people in 2050.

Farm direct aid and public investment in DCs are fine; providing safety nets and social security systems are also paramount goals. But these measures will not prevent the eventual disappearance of farmers in the areas most affected by hunger. Let’s not forget that the drive to liberalize agricultural markets has never been so cumbersome for 21st century farmers, whose economic conditions are impacted by price hyper-volatility. Such liberalization, subjected to erratic movements, will strike a deadly blow to small farmers, if regulatory tools are not implemented.

It is thus imperative to initiate a world governance system for agriculture, whose main objective would be to regulate international agricultural markets to protect farmers from excessive, uncontrolled and devastating volatility. So devastating in fact, that an umpteenth price turnaround could trigger new food riots in the near future.
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Paris, 17 June 2019