Is a global food crisis coming?
Concerns are being voiced by many as grain prices rise dramatically due to U.S. droughts, European rains and monsoon conditions in India.
“The World Bank and our partners are monitoring this situation closely so we can help governments put policies in place to help people better cope,” reports World Bank President Jim Kim on the organization’s website. Increasing grain commodity prices, since June, show wheat up above 50 percent, corn over 45 percent and soybeans almost 30 percent.
“Not only is the current food situation deteriorating, but so is the global food system itself,” states Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, in a Guardian article. “Welcome to the new geopolitics of food scarcity. As food supplies tighten, we are moving into a new food era, one in which it is every country for itself.”
Increasingly in the U.S., the Obama administration seems to be hearing calls to end support for corn ethanol. Critics say that diverting the food to fuel for corn ethanol production risks a global food crisis, another story by the Guardian warns. This tightens supplies and drives up prices. Nearly one third of Congress signed on to a letter which called on the Environmental Protection Administration to scale down its support for corn ethanol.
A climatologist at the University of Nebraska, Brian Fuchs, believes things are getting worse, even with some regional rain being recently reported. “Drought continues to intensify through the midwest and plains states.”
Overnight rains falling on the U.S. Midwest crop were reported by Reuters, Thursday. These may provide some relief to wilting crops and livestock from what some believe to be the worst drought in a half century. “There were some 1-inch rains in areas of Nebraska, Kansas and southern Minnesota, and the usual 0.10 to 0.50 inch elsewhere,” reported Andy Karst, meteorologist for World Weather Inc.