One point I haven't seen mentioned yet -- and that speaks to the theme of
"right to food" and to an earlier posting about deliberately subverting local
food production systems in order to assure future export markets -- is
the issue of sapping incentive by charity.
The "Food for Peace" program was largely designed to create a market
for US agricultural surplusses (ie the government bought from US
farmers and used the food as an international diplomatic tool).
However, in all too many instances, this food aid contributed to the
declining ability of recipient countries to feed themselves. After all,
given the choice, would you buy from a local producer or accept your
food FREE from Uncle Sam?
The next failed US initiative was to try exporting the US production model
abroad. "Send them a bunch of big tractors" was the approach. The
infrastructure to support that kind of agriculture didn't exist and the
equipment fell into disrepair pretty quickly.
I once proposed to a professor of mine that introduction of "modern",
supposedly superior crop varieties might lead to the extinction of
priceless folk knowledge of how to raise local crops successfully. Just
as species evolve to site-specific conditions, local crops AND THE
KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO RAISE THEM also evolve. This knowledge
can be lost in one generation. Preserving the knowledge should be
nearly as important as maintaining a seed bank.
Enough rambling for now. I was heartened to see someone finally note
that continued population growth will make it ever harder to feed all of