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e-book Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry

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The results, he shows, have been sudden and startling, with declining food reserves sending prices to record highs and a new global commodities market in ethanol and other biofuels gobbling up arable lands in nearly every continent on earth. Refugees from the North Korean Famine. God Is Not a Farmer. No One Goes Hungry in Switzerland.

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Victory of the Predators. Jalil Jilani and Her Children. The Defeat of Jacques Diouf. The Murder of Iraqs Children. The Vultures of Green Gold.

Betting on famine : why the world still goes hungry in SearchWorks catalog

The Tragedy of Noma. The Awakening of Conscience. Famine and Fatalism Malthus and Natural Selection.

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Enemies of the Right to Food. The Crusaders of Neoliberalism. Castro had pointed out in the late s that hunger in Brazil was not a fatality of nature but the result of unjust human structures. Thus things could change with enlightened action by farmers with the help of enlightened governments. He helped to organize peasant leagues and was elected to the parliament of Brazil.

Betting on Famine: Why the World Still Goes Hungry

He undertook visits and studies in other Latin American countries. These studies convinced him of the socio-economic causes of hunger and of their wide geopolitical impact. Castro had been the independent president of the FAO Executive Council from to , at which time the governments decided to abolish the post of independent president.

The Executive Council has been chaired by national diplomats since. While at FAO, Castro was invited to look at agriculture in a good number of countries. Their Right Wing and brutal dictatorship lasted from to Castro was quickly replaced as Ambassador and moved to Paris to teach and work with NGOs on hunger and agricultural issues.

I saw him a number of times in Paris.

He died in Paris in September , aged only 65, but he left a heritage of study and action on the power dynamics of hunger and agricultural policies. Much of the research for the book was carried out with his UN team but is presented in a fiery style not found in UN reports. Increased action to improve rural life needs to be taken quickly. It is becoming ever more apparent that human society has a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to alter its path.

He stresses the dangers of the increasing use of ethanol and other biofuels, often without consideration of the impact of the production of biofuels on land use and food production.

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Their use should be limited at present so that the consequences of their use can be studied and biofuels developed from non-food sources. Ziegler also stresses that there needs to be a detailed analysis and then action on the role of speculation in the rise of commodity prices.


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Banks and hedge funds, having lost money in the real estate mortgage packages, are now investing massively in commodities. For the moment, there is little governmental regulation of this speculation.


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Ziegler also stresses relatively new dangers to a just world food system. In many developing countries, the urban elite have been buying farm land as an investment, not necessarily to increase agricultural production with improved techniques, but to resell later when prices go up. Ziegler also stresses the sale or long-term rent of agricultural lands, especially in Africa, to governments or State-related companies of the Arab Gulf States and China.