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NOVEMBER 2010

Read the speech given at the Public Lecture by the The Honourable Beverly J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation

Radio Interviews with conference participants

Dr. David Nabarro interview on CBC Radio Noon
Dr. David Nabarro interview on Radio Canada International
Barbara Burlingame interview on Radio Canada International
Victoria Quinn on Radio Canada International
Panel discussion with Bart Schultz, Sam Asiedu and Sam Gameda on Radio Canada International
Eugene Terry interview on Radio Canada International
Dyno Keatinge on Radio Canada International
Grace Marquis on Radio Canada International

Global Food Security Conference articles in The Western Producer:

Nutrition vital factor in solving hunger issues
UN praises Canada's foreign aid commitment
Hunger goals realistic?
FAO takes heat for alleged biotech bias
Crisis looms in Artctic: expert

Articles of interest

Solving the food crisis - On an ocean planet
Turning to the sea
Will the oceans help feed humanity?


OCTOBER 2010

October 19, 2010

Reports published by United Nations System High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis

Comprehensive Framework for Action
Road Map for Scaling Up Nutrition
These reports are also available on the UN Global Food Security Crisis site

October 18, 2010

Co-ordinator of UN high-level task force to open McGill Food Security Conference
McGill news media advisory

October 14, 2010

Co-ordinator of UN high-level task force to open McGill Food Security Conference
Dr. David Nabarro, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations and co-ordinator of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, will deliver the keynote address at the opening evening of the Third McGill Conference on Global Food Security on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 5 p.m., at Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield St. in Montreal.
Read McGill press release

October 7, 2010

Food shock: Market volatility a bigger threat than grain shortage
The global food crisis that has been looming for years has arrived: Only it’s not the one we’ve been expecting.Fears about the food supply have been high since prices spiked with oil in 2008. When a third of the Russian wheat crop fell to drought this summer and the country slammed its borders to exports, a new panic was triggered: Wheat prices soared 50 per cent, pushing up other cereals. Food riots broke out in Mozambique. The United Nations convened an emergency meeting of experts. Just this week, drought-stricken Ukraine announced export quotas on wheat pegged to last through December.
Read more: The Globe and Mail


SEPTEMBER 2010

September 14, 2010

U.N.: World hunger down but still 'unacceptable'
(CNN) -- The good news is that improving economies in developing nations is allowing more people to eat better, but the United Nations estimates that nearly 1 billion people will still face chronic hunger this year.

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme estimated that 925 million people, almost three times the population of the United States, will go hungry. That's down from 1.023 billion people in 2009 and the first decrease in 15 years.
Read more

September 6, 2010

Higher Yields Are Farming's Answer
by Dennis T. Avery, Director of the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues

Is the Green Movement finally ready to face the global need to triple crop yields over the next 40 years—and drop its dedication to land-selfish organic farming? Maybe yes, and none too soon. The planet’s wild biodiversity is at stake.

I recently spoke about the benefits of high-yield agriculture to environmental prizewinners at an international DuPont meeting. This isn’t news. I’ve been praising high-yield farming for decades for feeding more people better diets from less land — and thus saving room on the planet for wildlife. I estimate 7 million square miles of wildlife habitat have been spared. This is equal to the land area of South America!

This time, however, I was joined on the program by Dr. Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund-US, who echoed most of my praise for high-yield farming. Dr. Clay and I agreed that the world would need more than twice as much food per year by 2050, due partly to the last surge in human population growth, and even more due to the world’s rising wealth. We agreed that with 37 percent of the world’s land area already in farming, there was no salvation in doubling the earth’s plowed land area. He absolutely agreed with me that the future of world agriculture had to be higher yields, which organic farming has never delivered.

We both noted the latest information on high-yield benefits: a Stanford University study that says the soil carbon that would have been lost if the additional 7 million square miles had been plowed would have equaled one-third of all the world’s industrial emissions since 1850!

So whether you’re worried about feeding hungry people, saving biodiversity or preventing man-made global warming, the farming answer is always the same — higher yields per acre. And farming is mankind’s biggest impact on the natural world, by far.

I suggested to Dr. Clay that this should mean some re-evaluation of the “toxicity” rap that agricultural pesticides have gotten among our urban consumers. Far more worrisome is the lurking presents of dangerous bacteria in our food. Consumers should demand electronic pasteurization to protect against such threats as salmonella in our eggs, hamburger and fresh produce. The electronic pasteurization kills virtually all bacteria, including the food spoilage bacteria, so fresh foods taste fresher.

The need for tripled world crop yields must be taken into account when federal regulators and judges act to support or block new technology, such as biotechnology. If not overturned, the federal judge who recently ruled against biotech sugar beets is going down a dangerous path with consequences far beyond sugar beets. Without biotech, we may not have the tools to feed the people and save wildlife habitat from the plow.

We should increase our investments in agricultural research, thanking Bill Gates and Warren Buffet along the way for their massive planned investments in research for “a second Green Revolution.” The land-grant agricultural colleges and their Council for Agricultural Science and Technology have been swimming upstream on high-yield research in recent decades. Both the American Farm Bureau Federation and Dr. Clay’s World Wildlife Fund/US are partners in a broader alliance (the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture) with food manufacturers, such as General Mills and Kellogg’s; the Fertilizer Institute; Croplife (pesticides); plus enlightened environmental groups: Conservation International, the National Association of Conservation Districts, NRCS/USDA, The Nature Conservancy and the World Resources Institute.

This is a promising alliance between the idealists and the pragmatists who respond directly to the concerns about food shortage, biodiversity, climate, and ultimate sustainability.
Sierra Vista Herald

September 2, 2010

Water management and malnutrition crucial issues at McGill food conference
International experts gather to address pressing threats to food security
From catastrophic floods in Pakistan that have left millions homeless and hungry to the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, relief efforts are under way in many parts of the world where disasters have brought food crises along with destruction. In Africa’s Sahel region, severe drought has been followed by floods that are now threatening the food security of millions of people among the world’s poorest. More than half of Niger’s population – some 7 million people – as well as millions more in neighbouring Chad, Mali and Mauritania face hunger and malnutrition. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people go hungry every single day.
Read McGill press release

Fears grow over global food supply
Russia announced a 12-month extension of its grain export ban on Thursday; Raises fears about a return to the food shortages and riots of 2007-08; UN called an emergency meeting on food riots in Mozambique left seven dead
Read more


AUGUST 2010

August 4, 2010
Wheat turmoil hits home on the Prairies

UN plays down concerns of food crisis, says wheat supply will cover shortfall
The Globe and Mail

August 5, 2010
Russia Bans Grain Exports After Drought Shrivels Crop

Russia banned all exports of grain on Thursday after millions of acres of wheat withered in a severe drought, a portentous decision at a time when crop failures caused by heat and flooding span the northern hemisphere.
The New York Times


JUNE 2010

June 29, 2010
Just released – Dublin Dialogue meeting on the CFA [Comprehensive Framework for Action]: Co-Chairs’ summary

In the process of updating the CFA, a dialogue meeting was convened to provide an opportunity to exchange views on the changes required to better reflect the current context of food and nutrition insecurity. Concern Worldwide, High-Level Task Force and the Government of Ireland co-hosted a two days meeting in Dublin.
Read more; download documents

June 15, 2010
Emerging economies 'to enjoy food production boom'

Brazil's vast agriculture industry is forecast to boom over the next decade
The emerging economies of Brazil, India, China and Russia will enjoy an agricultural boom over the next decade as production stalls in Western Europe, a report says. Agricultural output in the Bric nations will grow three times as fast as in the major developed countries, the joint United Nations-OECD study said. Livestock and crop prices will stay above long-term averages, it added. And rising incomes and urbanisation in developing states will drive growth.
Read more on BBC News


MAY 2010

May 19, 2010

THE GLOBAL CRISIS THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT
Brian Stewart, CBC News

Two giant crises are profoundly shaking our world. One is highlighted almost hourly in the international media, the other is often lost from sight. I am talking here about the global economic recession and the expanding tide of world hunger.
Read more on CBC News
Download the document


REFERENCE DOCUMENTS

The State of Food Security in the World. Economic crisis - impacts and lessons learned
FAO 2009
Download document

Water for Food. Water for Life. A Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture (Summary Book) International Water Management Institute. Ed. By D. Molden. 2007.
Download document

Coping with water scarcity: a challenge of the twenty – first century
World Water Day 2007. UN Water and FAO
Download document

Impact of climate change and bioenergy on nutrition
International Food Policies Research Institute. IFPRI- FAO 2008
Download document

Measuring Household Food Insecurity: Why it’s so important and yet so difficult to do
P. Webb, J. Coates, E. A. Frongillo, B. Lorge Rogers, A. Swindale, and P. Bilinsky. 2006.
J. Nutr. 136: 1404S -1408S.