When a large segment of the population is facing a drastic cut in income in the face of escalating food prices we have a catastrophic problem in the making. Today we have the simultaneous events of income deflation and food inflation; two high-speed express trains coming down that tracks at each other, a financial crisis colliding with staggering crop losses, which are cutting deeply into available planetary food reserves. Prices of food are beginning to soar again just as millions are losing the ability to afford a reasonable diet though little of this is being observed or reported but soon even the blind will see. . – January 9th Wall Street Journal
(…) More than 2.1 million hectares of grain have been destroyed by drought in 2009 in Russia, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said. A total of 616,000 hectares have been destroyed in the region, or 70% of the total amount planted. “The world is blissful unaware that the greatest economic, financial and political crisis ever is a few months away. It takes only the tiniest bit of research to realize something is going critically wrong in agricultural market.
(…) To date the WFP has confirmed $2.6 billion in funding for its 2009 budget of $6.7 billion. “This comes at a time of great vulnerability for the hungry,” the WFP said in a statement. “Millions have been buffeted by the global financial down turn, their ability to buy food is limited by stubbornly high prices. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns are causing more weather-related hunger,” the WFP said.
According to Lester Brown, “The number of hungry people, which was declining for several decades, bottomed out in the mid-1990s at 825 million. In 2009 it jumped to over one billion.
With world food prices projected to continue rising, so too will the number of hungry people. We know from studying earlier civilisations such as the Sumerians, Mayans, and many others, that more often than not it was food shortages that led to their demise. It now appears that food may be the weak link in our early twenty-first century civilisation as well.”