Friday, May 16, 2008

Global Food Crisis!

Just because the mass media have discovered something only recently does that mean it was not a fact before their notice?

Well of course not! But as long as people in the ag business are getting noticed it seems they are happy to jump on the bandwagon and try to get some of the possible action as governments react to the perceived public pressure. Anyone even remotely connected to the agriculture industry understands that global system of producers and distributors is geared more toward feeding the large and affluent markets that have the ability to pay for commodities.
People directly involved also understand that factors such as subsidies have long term negative effects on the producers and consumers.
So why would a pair of leaders who represent less than global interests want to promote the idea that research or the lack of it ( is there really a lack of research in agriculture?) is the ROOT cause of the supposed crisis we are observing today?

From The Globe's Report on Business :
Crisis 15 Years in Making .... here's an excerpt -

"That's the proposition put forward this week by two agricultural experts – Emile Frison, director general of Biodiversity International, and Robert Zeigler, director general of the International Rice Research Institute – who point instead to 15 years of declining investment by governments in agricultural research as a key reason why the world supply of food is not keeping up with demand."

What do we have here? Who are these people? Are they right?

Well as I see it .....

What we have here is an effort to create a false argument about root causes of a very real issue. While complaining of underfunding they offer no proof of it and while claiming the need for more funding / subsidy in their pet area offer no suggestion of what the benefits will be. A pretty clear example of over stating their case and their own importance in the world.

Who we have doing it are a pair of career institutional managers attempting to justify their existence.

If lack of research were the root cause of any global resource issue then researchers would be able to show it and prove it! As things are in fact the issues they wish to exploit are far more complex and well beyond the limited effect of their realms. While I would agree that honest analysis and sound policies by governments and industry could have a great effect on the food business I do not believe that throwing money at tax hogs in the research business is going to do anything but subsidize an activity that is proving less productive as demands for funding increase.

This too is not something new but remains a fact whether or not the MSM care to notice!

Nice try though.


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