Yes, we\’ve been here before and yes, we know the solution. Sadly, not everyone seems to have got it yet.
The paradox of this year\’s worsening food shortage is the presence of plentiful quantities of food in many markets throughout the country. \”There is a relatively good flow of food into the markets in Niger, yet prices remain extremely high,\” said Ferrera. \”Since 2008 there has been a lot of speculation and tension in the markets. There has been good food production in neighbouring countries, yet prices are abnormally high.\”
As Amartya Sen pointed out (and in doing so secured himself a Nobel) modern famines rarely happen because of a lack of food. They\’re because of a lack of purchasing power to secure that food.
The answer is thus to provide the purchasing power. Simply give money to the poor and starving. The great joy of such a scheme is that it\’s actually very easy and very fast to implement, unlike trying to ship in food aid which can take 8-10 months.
As to this:
The potential for high food prices to cause food insecurity and famine has been criticised in recent years. Speculation in agricultural commodities on the international financial markets since 2006 has been blamed for price increases of up to 300% for some basic foodstuffs, including rice and cereals
As we know, it wasn\’t the speculators, it was the idiots who insisted that food be put into cars instead of people. Yes, FoE, Greenpeace, this is your fault.