A Atual Crise Alimentar: Produção Recorde, Lucros Recordes e Nível Recorde de Famintos no Mundo. Como Entender Esta Estranha Combinação?
“Last year record numbers of the world’s poor experienced hunger, this at a time of record harvests and record profits for the world’s major agrifood corporations. The contradiction of increasing hunger in the midst of wealth and abundance sparked “food riots,” not seen for many decades. Protests in Mexico, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Yemen, Egypt, Haiti, and twenty other countries were sparked by skyrocketing food prices […]. In June 2008, the World Bank reported that global food prices had risen 83 percent over the last three years and the FAO cited a 45 percent increase in their world food price index in just nine months. While commodity prices have since fallen due to the world economic downturn and speculators lessening their bets on commodities, food prices remain high and are not expected to return to pre-crisis levels”
“But with record grain harvests in 2007, according to the FAO, there was more than enough food in the world to feed everyone in 2008—at least 1.5 times current demand. In fact, over the last twenty years, food production has risen steadily at over 2.0 percent a year, while the rate of population growth has dropped to 1.14 percent a year. Globally, population is not outstripping food supply. Over 90 percent of the world’s hungry are simply too poor to buy enough food. High food prices are a problem because nearly three billion people—half of the world’s population—are poor and near-poor. Around half of the people in the developing world earn less than two dollars a day. Nearly 20 percent are “extremely poor” earning less than one dollar a day. Many of those officially classified as poor are subsistence farmers who have limited access to land and water and cannot compete in global markets. In addition, the diversion of large quantities of grains and oil crops for the growing industrial feedlots in the emerging economies, as well as the diversion of land and water for “green” agrofuels has put significant pressure on markets for many basic foods”
“Unsurprisingly, the food crisis has provided the world’s major agrifood monopolies with windfall profits. In the last quarter of 2007 as the world food crisis was breaking, Archer Daniels Midland’s earnings jumped 42 percent, Monsanto’s by 45 percent, and Cargill’s by 86 percent. Cargill’s subsidiary, Mosaic Fertilizer, saw profits rise by 1,200 percent”
“per capita hunger is rising and the number of desperately hungry people on the planet has grown steadily from 700 million in 1986 to 800 million in 1998. Today, the number stands at over 1 billion. Fifty years ago, the developing countries had yearly agricultural trade surpluses of $1 billion. After decades of capitalist development and the global expansion of the industrial agrifood complex, the southern food deficit has ballooned to $11 billion a year. The cereal import bill for low-income food-deficit countries is now over $38 billion and the FAO predicts it will grow to $50 billion by 2030. This shift from food self-sufficiency to food dependency has been accomplished by colonizing national food systems and destroying peasant agriculture”
“The same period has seen a fourfold increase in grain and oilseed production, with a steady decline in prices to farmers. This has been accompanied by a relentless industrial trend of vertical and horizontal concentration within the world’s food systems. Two companies, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, capture three-quarters of the world grain trade. The top three seed companies Monsanto, Dupont, and Syngenta control 39 percent of the world’s commercial seed market”