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.
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World Hunger: There may be more than meets the eye

momagri editorial department,

For the first time in 15 years, world hunger fell in 2010. A report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 925 million people in the world are suffering from hunger in 2010, down from a record of 1.023 billion in 2009.

This a priori positive development largely results from the combination of an international economic context more auspicious than that of 2009 and agricultural and food prices that are lower than those recorded in 2008/09. Yet, the trend must not conceal facts that are not only “unacceptable” to the FAO but also worrisome considering the future challenges already confronting the international community––especially by developing countries––regarding the food security issue.

In fact, while the number of people in the world suffering from hunger is declining, we are observing not only strong regional discrepancies but also categories of persons more affected than others, all factors that could become powerful catalysts for a new global food crisis.

Out of the 925 million undernourished people worldwide, 98 percent––or 907 million––live in developing countries. And among them, the U.N. World Food Programme estimates that 56 percent on average are farmers. This means that a total of more than 508 million farmers in developing countries are not longer able to feed themselves.

This figure is indeed troublesome for three reasons.

First, because farmers represent the cornerstone in the battle against food insecurity worldwide. Without farmers, the goals set in terms of agricultural production to ensure adequate food to meet the growing demographics, will not be reached.

Secondly, because developing countries––whose needs are the most desperate––are not only the most stricken nations but also those where the ratio of undernourished farmers is the highest.

Lastly, because the current movement to liberalize agricultural markets in the framework of the WTO might, according to the various scenarios achieved through the momagri model, go hand in hand with a deterioration of farmers’ economic condition, especially in developing countries. In fact, the revenues of Chinese or Indian farmers might decline by 20 to 40 percent by 2023, and those of Sub-Saharan farmers might drop by 40 to 70 percent during the same period.

So, should such liberalization occur without adequate regulation, the number of people in the world suffering from hunger would sharply increase, mostly in the nations which are currently most severely hit. This trend will be all the more distressing that it will speed up the extinction of farmers in these regions, with all the economic, social and political consequences one can imagine.

It is thus crucial to initiate a global agricultural governance system whose objective, among others, would be to regulate international agricultural markets to protect farmers from excessive, uncontrolled and devastating volatility. The issue will be at the center of the talks scheduled in the framework of the up-coming “Dakar Agricole” to be held in Senegal in January 2011.
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Paris, 24 May 2019