Contemporary interest in food is not confined to pleasure in its
consumption, but extends in every direction: to its economic
importance, the semiotics of food taste, the dangers of food
additives and the politics of food security. We live in societies
as dominated by food preferences as by sexual preferences, as
obsessed about eating too little as by eating too much. In
addition our interest in food is associated, for good and evil,
with our interest in ‘nature’.
In 2008 food prices surged plunging millions back into hunger
and triggering riots from Egypt to Haiti and Cameroon to Bangladesh.
Whereas fuel prices, which also surged, have fallen
back sharply food prices remain problematic with wheat, corn
and soya still higher than they were 12-18 months ago.
In order to understand the factors underpinning the food
crisis and to assess trends, UNEP commissioned a Rapid
Response team of internal and international experts. Their
conclusions are presented in this report launched during
UNEP’s 25th Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment
Before 1989, urban agriculture was almost non-existent in Havana. There was no need, not even for the poorest residents, to grow food, as food was distributed by the State. However, because of the food crisis, urban agriculture emerged. President Fidel Castro proclaimed that no piece of land should be left uncultivated. So even on the front lawn of the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), crops were planted.
The objective of the research study and this publication is to identify, characterize and
assess the existence and potential of investments in agriculture and agribusinesses in developing
and transition economies through an inventory stock-taking of agricultural investment funds
targeting these countries. The stock-taking is followed by a more comprehensive review of
selected investment funds through case studies.
Tax compliance is relatively high when the agency can match data from third parties (such as information on W-2 forms supplied by employers and financial institutions) to income tax returns and notify taxpayers of discrepancies. The net misreporting rate for income that is subject to third-party reporting is less than 5 percent.
Around 2001, I learned of an exciting collaborative at the University of California
at Santa Cruz, consisting of faculty, graduate students, and other food- and socialjustice-
oriented researchers and activists who informally called themselves the
“coffee mafi a.” The collaborative had an ambitious agenda.
Our goal is to provide food for thought rather than an off-the-shelf solution. Many of the outside practices we
explore are somewhat distant from conventional thinking. We are aware that some of our ideas will be controversial.
We therefore do not necessarily speak of them as “recommendations.
A team of research ers from the Inter na tional Food Pol icy Research Insti tute (IFPRI), the Food
and Agri cul tural Organi za tion of the United Nations (FAO), and the Inter na tional Live stock
Research Insti tute (ILRI) col labo rated to pro duce this com pre hen sive and even- handed attempt at
defin ing the nature, extent, scope, and impli ca tions of what they term the “Live stock Revo lu tion”
in devel op ing coun tries. Look ing for ward to 2020, they argue con vinc ingly that the struc tural
shifts in world agri...
The World Bank recognizes that large-scale agricultural investment poses
significant challenges that can be addressed successfully only if stakeholders
collaborate effectively. Together with the Food and Agricultural Organization
of the United Nations, International Fund for Agricultural Development,
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, and other partners, it
has formulated seven principles that all involved should adhere to for invest-
ments to do no harm, be sustainable, and contribute to development. These
principles are summarized in box 1.
In recent years, the international community has paid attention to the water quality
problem, especially since Agenda 21, which is the action plan to protect the
environment, was adopted in 1992 (WHO/UNEP 1997: 10.1.1). In addition, in the
United Nations Millennium Development Goals, one of the goals is to ‘reduce by half
the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water’ (United
Nations 2000). It has been internationally acknowledged that water problems are at a
crisis point for human life as well as the environment.
Internationally, it describes how we must work more intensively with the European
Union and through our bilateral relationships with countries all around the world to
shape an international environment that supports openness. It sets out how
Governments can collaborate to manage new global challenges such as climate
change, food security, natural resource pressures and the impact of new technologies.
The Ghana Grains Development Project (GGDP) was
launched in 1979 with funding from the Government of
Ghana and the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA). The purpose of the project was to
develop and diffuse improved technology for maize and
grain legumes (initially only cowpea, but in later phases
also soybean and groundnut). The Crops Research
Institute (CRI) and the International Maize and Wheat
Improvement Center (CIMMYT) served as the project’s
primary executing bodies, while three other organizations
provided ancillary support.
In other European countries such as Hungary and Latvia, this indirect cross-border credit
was even more important in the run-up to the crisis. Much of this reflected the (interoffice)
channelling of funds by foreign banks outside these countries to their subsidiaries in these
countries (left-hand panels, dashed brown line), which in turn extended foreign currency
loans to residents (right-hand panels).
Still the Food Reform movement goes on and expresses itself in many ways. New developments and
enterprises on the part of those engaged in the manufacture and distribution of pure foods are in evidence in
all directions. Not only have a number of new "Reform" restaurants and depots been opened, but vegetarian
dishes are now provided at many ordinary restaurants, while the general grocer is usually willing to stock the
more important health foods.
Ihad my first behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of professional catering when I was a busboy at sixteen. One of our restaurant managers started a catering division as a way to increase sales and profits. It was exciting to see how the events unfolded and the praise he received for being an all-star for the company.
After two centuries of almost absolute belief in technical and economic
progress, human society is in a period of reconsideration and elaboration of
new strategies for the ongoing new century. Progress of our civilization with an
explosive rise in world population has led to an enormously increased con-
sumption of resources and to an equal threat to the environment. Coping with
these problems requires all intellectual abilities of our society. In this endeav-
or, biotechnology is considered to play a significant role.
By 2050, Chinese and global agriculture are expected to enter a new
era of development. Global population increase and economic development,
particularly in developing countries, will lead to greater human demand for food
and fiber. The demand for multifunctional agriculture will also increase as the
worsening global energy crisis induces the rise of the biomass energy industry.
Demand growth, diversification and market expansion provide unlimited
reverie for the future development of agriculture.
The 2007–08 boom in food prices and the subsequent period of relatively high
and volatile prices reminded many import-dependent countries of their vul-
nerability to food insecurity and prompted them to seek opportunities to
secure food supplies overseas. Together with the reduced attractiveness of
other assets due to the financial crisis, the boom led to a “rediscovery” of the
agricultural sector by different types of investors and a wave of interest in land
acquisitions in developing countries.
The Government of Myanmar has formed an Emergency Committee and announced that the priorities of
its relief operations are to provide adequate food, safe drinking-water and shelter to the affected people.
Health issues are of major concern in districts affected by the cyclone.
The WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia and the WHO Country Office in Myanmar are actively
involved in the response. A crisis room has been activated in the WHO Country Office in Yangon.