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Global Food Security Conference


Micronutrient Initiative’s (MI) 2008-2009 Annual Report
MI has had an active and productive year, touching the lives of almost 500 million people through supplementation and fortifications programs.
Download report in English
Télécharger rapport en français


Fish farming seen driving food security
As global fish stocks continue to plunge, fish farming is seen as a way of contributing to food security. The EU has pledged to increase the competitiveness of European aquafarming to meet a growing appetite for seafood, but policymakers stress that this must go hand-in-hand with farming to restore fish stocks. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that over 70% of the world's fish species are already either fully exploited or depleted. And while the impact of global overfishing is typically measured in environmental and economic terms, depleted fish stocks also threaten the food security of millions of people who are dependent on fish for food.

Food investment triples.
Fighting hunger: But more is needed, forum on security told

World majors in agriculture and food sectors have tripled their investments in boosting global food security but need to spend more to help eradicate hunger, participants at an international forum said yesterday. With the number of hungry people rising to a record 1.02 billion this year, up 100 million from 2008, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) urged private and public investors to pour more funds in developing countries' farming. FAO said foreign direct investment (FDI) in agriculture tripled to more than $3 billion in 2007 from $1 billion in 2000 but that still represented less than one per cent of total world FDI inflows.
The Gazette, November 13, 2009


Feeding the World's Hungry
Getting food to the most people with the fewest resources is a constant challenge for food-assistance agencies, but one that financial tools can help address.The finance tools examined in the report have been used effectively in other sectors – for example, to provide vaccines to developing countries – but they have not been used in food assistance delivery. The report recommends using such instruments as call options, guaranteed bonds and tax credits to help improve assistance groups’ ability to deliver desperately needed food on time and at lower cost.
Milken Institute Report, October 2009


Food Security
From Keith Good’s Daily News Report

Bloomberg writer Rudy Ruitenberg reported yesterday that, “Farming in developing countries needs $83 billion of investment a year if there is to be enough food to feed the world in 2050, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said.

“Agricultural investment needs to rise by about 50 percent as the global population increases to 9.1 billion people from 6.8 billion now, according to a discussion paper for an FAO meeting in Rome on food security next week.

“About $20 billion a year would have to be invested in crop production and $13 billion in livestock operations, according to the UN agency. Mechanization would be the biggest single investment area, followed by expansion and irrigation.”

The article noted that, “Food production will have to rise 70 percent in the next four decades to feed the world in 2050, according to the FAO.”

In addition, Bloomberg writer Luzi Ann Javier reported yesterday that, “Protests over high food prices, which swept the world from Haiti to Bangladesh last year, may return to Asia in 2010 as drought in India and crop losses in the Philippines may cause price spikes, CWA Global Markets Pty said.

“‘We wouldn’t be surprised to see a return to the rice riots across Asia sometime in 2010,’ Peter McGuire, managing director at CWA Global Markets Pty., said today.

“Declining output in India ‘coupled with the recent weather issues in the Philippines will cause price spikes for the rice market toward the second quarter of 2010,’ he said.”

The article noted that, “Protests broke out last year after export curbs by major producers including India and Vietnam last year raised fears of a food crisis. Global rice prices soared to a record amid declining inventories, prompting governments around the world to secure domestic supplies as importers scrambled for shipments.”

Meanwhile, the AP reported yesterday that, “The USDA must sharpen the focus of its science and research efforts to emphasize areas where it can make an impact on society, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

“‘USDA science needs to change to respond to … pressures, to ensure the sustainability of the American food, fuel, and fiber system and to address some of America’s — and the world’s — most intractable problems,’ Vilsack said, delivering a speech to launch the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“Vilsack’s speech outlined his hopes for USDA’s science and research efforts, pursuits he said are strengthened by the formation of the new institute. It was created by Congress in last year’s farm bill, and is aimed at enhancing the USDA’s research aims by working with top scientists from around the world and taking on practical problems.”


Economic crisis has been especially tough on the hungry, conference hears
They came from far and near, from developed and developing countries, with local as well as international points of view. Over 350 leaders in research, government, aid agencies, international bodies and industry convened at the Second McGill Food Conference on Global Food Security this week to look back at the causes of and forward to the solutions to the growing crisis that has left approximately 1 billion people in the world undernourished.
McGill Reporter, October 10

Storms, war spell disaster for hungry
UN struggles to ship aid despite increased need caused by climate shifts. The grim outlook for hungry people was the focus of an international conference on global food security this week at McGill University. It looked at the growing gap between food needs and agricultural production, as the financial crisis aggravates problems of farmers who have too little money to plant their crops, and lack access to credit.
Toronto Star, October 9

Moins de recoltes et des aliments trois fois plus chers
L'agriculture souffre des changements climatiques. En première ligne. Surtout dans les pays où l'alimentation repose encore sur une agriculture paysanne, en manque de moyens techniques. Des intempéries peuvent ruiner des récoltes en moins de deux. Et des intempéries, il y en a de plus en plus. "Le réchauffement climatique multiplie les tempêtes, augmente le niveau de la mer, les vagues de chaleur et favorise les épisodes de sécheresse et de pluie", a expliqué hier le phytologue Bert Drake, du Centre de recherches sur l'environnement Smithsonian. Le scientifique a participé à la Conférence sur la sécurité alimentaire de l'Université McGill.
La Presse, 8 octobre

Conférence sur la sécurité alimentaire mondiale de l'Université McGill
La part de l'agriculture se fane
Claude Lévesque

Dans le monde en développement, où pourtant la majorité de la population demeure rurale, les gouvernements consacrent une part toujours plus infime de leur budget à l'agriculture. D'un peu plus de 11 % en 1980, celle-ci serait passée à environ 4 % aujourd'hui.

La même tendance est observée en ce qui concerne l'aide publique au développement: environ 20 % de l'aide aux pays pauvres allait à l'agriculture en 1980, contre seulement 4 % en 2006. «Et on ne voit pas la tendance s'inverser. Il y a bien eu des engagements de pris lors des derniers grands sommets internationaux, mais des années peuvent s'écouler avant que ceux-ci soient tenus», a noté Michael Hamp, représentant du Fonds international de développement agricole (IFAD).

Ce sont là quelques-unes des observations qui ont été faites hier dans le cadre de la deuxième Conférence sur la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, organisée par l'Université McGill. Cet événement, qui réunit une trentaine de spécialistes venus de plusieurs pays, se déroule dans le contexte d'une récession, qui s'est ajoutée l'an dernier à une flambée mondiale des prix alimentaires. Ces deux crises ont fait augmenter considérablement le nombre d'êtres humains qui ne mangent pas à leur faim, y compris dans certaines régions agricoles du monde en développement.

On a évidemment énuméré les nombreuses explications possibles de la flambée des prix des aliments survenue en 2007, après plusieurs années de relative stabilité: facteurs environnementaux, spéculation, biocarburants, etc.

Pour un autre intervenant, il faut aussi voir un «facteur sous-jacent» dans le fait que la croissance de la production céréalière a constamment ralenti pendant des décennies. «Cette production croit assez rapidement pour s'adapter à la croissance démographique mondiale, mais pas assez pour assurer des surplus permettant d'absorber des chocs conjoncturels», a dit Marco Ferroni, chef de la direction de Sygenta, une multinationale agroalimentaire.
Le Devoir (by subscription only)

Food agencies feeling recession pressure
As international hunger crisis deepens, first-world nations are taking a hard look at aid commitments. The food crisis in the developing world is far from over, and international emergency food agencies are bracing for the next blow.
Globe and Mail, October 7

Radio-Canada radio – Classe économique
To listen to the Oct. 7 show

Radio-Canada radio – Ottawa
Interview with François Dagenais, IICA

Radio-Canada International

Canada en las Américas

CBC Radio – Radio Noon
to listen to the Oct. 6 & 7 shows

UN food program in dire straits
Donations hit by global recession, high prices.
The United Nations will have to ration or even cancel the delivery of food in several parts of the world because of the ongoing economic crisis and high food prices, an economic advisor with the UN's World Food Program said yesterday.
The Gazette, October 5

Experts gather at McGill to address food security challenges
2nd edition of international conference addresses impact of global recession. Leading experts from international agencies, NGOs, the food industry and academia will meet at McGill University, in Montreal, Oct. 5-7 to discuss the increasing challenges relating to food security in the world. The 2nd McGill Conference on Global Food Security will focus on the effects of the global economic crisis on food supply and production.
McGill Press release, October 1


Seeking Solutions for a Hungry World
McGill hosting second annual Food Conference
McGill Reporter, Sept 10

JULY 2009

G8 Efforts towards Global Food Security
Report by the G8 Experts Group on Global Food Security
Download report

World leaders launch $15B food initiative
World leaders have launched a $15 billion initiative to help farmers in poor countries increase production, marking a shift in the way the West tackles world hunger.
CTV News

Canada’s increased support for food security and agricultural productivity
Read press release

Appui renforcé du Canada à la sécurité alimentaire et à la productivité agricole
Lire note d'information

JUNE 2009

McGill conference examines impact of economic crisis on the hungry
UN report shows sharp increase in undernourished population as a result of worldwide downturn.
McGill University Press Release, June 23, 2009

More than 1 billion don't have enough to eat: UN agency
Historic number of hungry due to high food prices, economic crisis
CBC News

Global hunger on the rise again
The number of hungry people in the world is projected to hit a record this year – more than a billion
Globe and Mail

The Global Food Crisis. The End of Plenty
Modern society has relieved us of the burden of growing, harvesting, even preparing our daily bread, in exchange for the burden of simply paying for it. Only when prices rise do we take notice. And the consequences of our inattention are profound.
National Geographic

APRIL 2009


Starving for Attention
As the G-20 summit gets underway in London, Brian Stewart reports on how the global recession is hurting the world's poorest people.
CBC Television


Foresight: Food Security
Article by C. Madramootoo and H. Fyles on Food Security
Publication of the McGill Centre for Developing Area Studies


Helping Women Respond to the Global Food Price Crisis
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Policy Brief 7.