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Despite the West's pledge to halve world hunger, the number of people who are short of food will soon reach a shocking landmark. One billion people will go hungry around the globe next year for the first time in human history, as the international financial crisis deepens, the United Nations has told The Independent on Sunday. Development charities recently called on US president-elect Barack Obama to put the escalating food crisis "front and centre" of his priorities.
Some 963 million people are now undernourished worldwide, according to the most recent survey of the crisis by the
A sign outside the Iowa Welcome Center is partially submerged by flood water on June 15, 2008. The link between global warming and extreme weather events is evident, and research predicts that the trend will intensify, most likely causing more crop losses for farmers. Farm belt lawmakers are posing a challenge to passage of clean-energy legislation in Congress because of a proposed Environmental Protection Agency ruling that they claim could make it harder for ethanol produced from corn and other U.S. crops to meet the federal renewable fuel standard under a 2007 law. But torpedoing the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454, would actually hurt farmers because harms linked to global warming—including drought, flooding, and other crop damage—would continue unabated. In the future, the interagency report predicts, “With continued global warming, heat waves and heavy downpours are very likely to further increase in frequency and intensity. Substantial areas of North America are likely to have more frequent droughts of greater severity.” More intense drought and floods could devastate farm income. Total damages—including agricultural losses—from the 1988 drought and 1993 Midwest floods were $79 billion, the report found. In the future, it predicted, “variability of precipitation—in time, space, and intensity—will make U.S. agriculture increasingly unstable and make it more difficult for
U.S. farmers to plan what crops to plan and when.”
ALBANY, N.Y., June 3, 2009 — Albany is creating an unprecedented crisis for our farmers that will be the final straw for the Upstate economy But it’s not too late. The Democrats who control the State Senate have the ability to stop this assault on our Upstate economy and way of life. Sen. Darrel Aubertine, as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, needs to convince the downstate leaders of his caucus that a pair of bills racing towards passage next week will be the death knell for thousands of farmers—and our Upstate way of life.
In some sectors, the EU's involvement is even exclusive. The most traditional of these sectors is agriculture: a common European policy exists in this field since the Sixties. Agriculture and rural development represent one of the main fields of action also considering the EU budget. In 2009, of a total of 133.8 billion euros allocated to all EU policies (equivalent to 1.03% of the European gross domestic product), 42% is destined to the management of natural resources, which include support to agriculture (31%) and development of rural areas in a broader sense (11%). During the CAP reforms of recent years, the EU policy has moved from a focus on agricultural production in a strict sense (that was its goal when it was born in post-war years) to a more integrated management of rural areas, of market access and support to produce quality.