December 13, 2019

Food Security; Doha Trade Talks & The Farm Bill; Ag Production Costs

Food Security

Emily Wax reported in Saturday’s Washington Post from Dhaka, Bangladesh that, “Bangladesh is among at least 33 countries, many with shaky governments and destitute populations, that are at risk of serious political unrest if food prices keep rising, according to a recent World Bank study. In some countries, the consequences of the food crisis are already playing out. Haiti’s prime minister, for example, was forced to step down last month after riots in Port-au-Prince.

“In this country, the crisis is compounded by natural disasters that have destroyed wide swaths of farmland. Many Bangladeshis have migrated from rural areas to the capital as ‘climate refugees,’ driven out by floods and cyclones that some scientists believe have intensified because of rising global temperatures. Now, in the relative safety of Dhaka, illiterate, often unskilled laborers are being hit by economic calamity as high inflation and surging food prices make their lives more difficult.

“Although poverty had started to slowly recede over the past decade in this nation of 150 million, there are renewed fears that inflation could undo its decades of progress and once again make it the ‘basket case’ of the world, as it was once dubbed by U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.”