I've posted a number of times on peak food and the coming crunch of real modern day famine with few if any hits or comments. I don't know if this is a lack of concern because we are a rich country or if constantly whining about Harper and Dion is really that much more fulfilling than looking at a real issue that will impoverish or kill millions.
In just the last week major rice exporters such as India and Vietnam and also Egypt have either cut or banned the export of rice outside their countries in order to maintain supply and keep their internal food inflation in check.
Vietnam will cut exports 22%, India will raise the minimum price for exports by 50% virtually killing all non Basmati exports, and Egypt will outright ban the export of rice to keep prices under control and maintain sufficient domestic supplies. Cambodia a much smaller exported also announced similar measures which when totaled with the other exporters will take a full 1/3 of the rice off of the international market.
These most recent moves have raised spot prices by 30% this week and doubling rice prices since January.
So who will get hurt the most a world rice shortages?
The poor naturally, rice is a staple for a good portion of the worlds poorest peoples. At the low end of the spectrum the poorest people already end up paying a large portion of their yearly income on food alone and for their main staple to double will mean starvation for some, and malnourishment for many more.
The Philippines and Africa both are major net importers of rice,as is the Middle East. Africa as the poorest of these regions is destined to be hurt the most aggravating a region already suffering from wars, droughts, and the disaster that is Zimbabwe.
Another major hit will be taken by aid agencies like the U.N. who will find this year their donor dollars will feed 50% less people.
Yet somehow, western nations can still justify burning grain ethanol. We should be rioting in the streets in sympathy with these people not burning their food.Recommend this Post
Friday, March 28, 2008
Posted by Kubera Jones, AKA several other guys. at 1:01 PM