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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    . The Japanese way sounds very practical, actually, to get the consumption down. If it went global, it could easily save many lives.
    How is that going to solve the problems that lead to food rotting in warehouses and governmental red-tape, unemployment, oppression that lead to the hunger problems to begin with?

  2. #62
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    I'm not sure I know what country you are talking about, but still, the main problem (globally) is that there is not enough. I think we have a better chance changing the eating habits of the democratic countries than replacing bad governments.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I'm not sure I know what country you are talking about, but still, the main problem (globally) is that there is not enough. I think we have a better chance changing the eating habits of the democratic countries than replacing bad governments.
    Just two articles out of a multitude:

    India: Politics of Starvation - Social and Economic Policy - Global Policy Forum

    That so many are hungry despite overflowing granaries is a damning indictment of the government’s public distribution system (PDS). The PDS is a network of about 460,000 ration shops across the country through which grains, sugar, cooking oil and so on are sold at subsidized rates.

    However, most of India’s poor, such as those who starved to death in Orissa and Rajasthan, cannot afford to buy the grains even at these subsidized rates. Many of them do not possess the Below Poverty Line (BPL) cards that entitle them to purchase at subsidized rates in ration shops. In several cases, the desperately poor have mortgaged their BPL cards to moneylenders or local traders.

    Besides, the process of identifying the poor is severely flawed. An article in Outlook magazine points out that in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, situated in Mumbai, just 151 families are identified as BPL. Millions of poor across the country are categorized in government records as Above Poverty Line (APL).

    Food policy experts say that the pricing of foodgrains for APL and BPL categories is far too high. They have pointed out that the price of grain is sometimes cheaper in mandis (local markets). Consequently, the PDS grains have few takers and state governments have been unwilling to lift the grains they are allocated. This means that foodgrains in government warehouses remain unutilized. Because of poor quality and inadequate storage facilities, millions of tons of foodgrains are eaten up by rats or simply rot.

    According to Planning Commission statistics, a third of the surplus food stocks (31 percent of the rice, 36 percent of the wheat and 23 percent of the sugar) in the government warehouses that is meant for the PDS is siphoned away by a nexus of politicians, officials and traders into the black market. One study indicates that 64 percent of rice stocks in Bihar and Assam, and 44 percent and 100 percent of wheat stocks in Bihar and Nagaland respectively "disappear" from the PDS. More at link

    How to manufacture a GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Lessons from the WORLD BANK - Alternatives

    How to manufacture a GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: Lessons from the WORLD BANK
    Saturday 24 May 2008 by Walden BELLO

    (A shorter version of this piece appeared in the June 2, 2008, issue of The Nation.)

    When tens of thousands of people staged demonstrations in Mexico last year to protest a sharp increase of over 60 per cent in the price of tortilla, the flat unleavened bread that is Mexico’s staple, many analysts pointed to biofuels as the culprit. Owing to US government subsidies, turning corn into ethanol had become more profitable than growing it for food consumption, prompting American farmers to devote more and more of their acreage to it, in the process sparking off a steep rise in corn prices.

    The diversion of corn from tortillas to biofuel was certainly one of the proximate causes of the skyrocketing prices, though speculation on likely trends in biofuel demand by transnational middlemen may have played a bigger role. (1) However, an intriguing question escaped many observers: How on earth did Mexicans, who live in the land where corn was first domesticated, become “dependent” on imports of US corn in the first place? More at link.

  4. #64
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    Interesting... Especially the Mexico part. If I remember right, the crude oil has same sort of weird cycle around there. It is pumped in Mexico, shipped to the U.S., refined, shipped back to Mexico, subsidized and sold. Mexico pays a lot of money to get their oil refined, and the funny thing is that many Americans drive across the border to fill their cars with the gas.

    The India example seems like a big mess-up that includes greed and corruption of "normal people" while the Mexico case is more calculated greed of the big companies.

  5. #65
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    The last article describes similar situations in the Phillippines and Africa. There's more politics to the food shortage problem than actual shortage of food.

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