As the United Nations declares a famine in two regions of southern Somalia it is time for some real debate on how the global food crisis can be tackled.
Phil Bloomer, Campaigns
& Policy Director, Oxfam.
The Food Security Debate, to be held on the first day of this year’s CropWorld Global 2011, will engage senior representatives from government, the private sector and NGOs. The aim will be to determine how to secure affordable food for a growing global population and provide sustainable and available food in areas where environmental conditions are challenging.
In Somalia, consecutive droughts over the last few years have depleted the country’s crops and livestock, coupled with this has been an ongoing conflict that has hindered agencies operating and accessing communities in the south. It is now estimated that in the Horn of Africa region – which includes parts of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia – some 107 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and in Somalia 25% of the 7.5million population are now displaced and at risk of malnutrition and infectious disease outbreaks.
"The crisis of hunger in the Horn of Africa is a harbinger of the future. But a far brighter future is possible. We must take action now to stabilise food prices, tackle climate change, and invest in the productivity of small farmers who still feed most of the two billion poorest people on our planet," says Phil Bloomer, Oxfam’s Campaigns and Policy Director who will be speaking at the debate.
Also contributing to the debate will be Professor Ian Crute CBE, Chief Scientist for the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). He believes that, “there is good reason to believe that it will be possible to feed 9 billion people without destroying the life-support systems of the planet; but this urgently requires a vigorous global investment in infrastructure, education, science and technology. We must deliver systems of crop production that will both to meet growing global demand and maintain sustainable agro-ecosystems for generations to come.
Today’s sporadic outbreaks of civil unrest and, at the extreme, the human misery of famine, reveal the future for many more if we should fail to do what is needed to deliver a sufficiency of affordable food”.
This key debate, which will also include: Cyrille Filott, Global Head – Europe, Food and Agribusiness Research and Advisory, Rabobank; Dr. Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute and Markus Arbenz, Executive Director, IFOAM, takes place on Day One of this year’s CropWorld Global Congress to be held at the ExCel Centre, London from 31 October to 2 November. The event is organised by UBM, in association with BCPC.
With participants from over 50 countries CropWorld Global is a true global event attracting interest from both the technical and commercial side of the worldwide crop production and crop protection industry. To see the very latest conference agenda and speaker line-up log onto www.cropworld-global.com. You can even follow CropWorld Global on Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/CropWorld).
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