Saturday, August 2, 2008

Reduced global food availability - the Europeans and Russian react

Two articles (from the BBC) discussing changing patterns in agriculture as a result of global changes in food availability are listed below.

This article discusses the European response, with 1.3 million hectares of previous fallow land coming back into production in Europe. Leaving aside the potential significant environmental consequences, it is interesting to see how quickly the Europeans have reacted to the economic potential of food in the face of reduced global availability.

This article
discusses a similar situation in Russia with over 40 million hectares (100 million acres) of fertile agricultural land, previously lying idle (a result of post-communist collapse?) now coming into production through large commercial farms. In this case again, it is the global demand which is fuelling this investment.

It raises interesting questions in my mind (particularly given the recent collapse of the Doha round of WTO talks) around issues such as
  • How long will global food prices stay at current high levels
  • How can countries like India leverage their vast farming potential in more productive ways
  • How can countries like India benefit from global food demand
Any ideas?

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