Many countries and their populations currently face a critical situation because of the rising prices of food or the impossibility of getting access to food in sufficient quantity. As the main cause is not the war in Ukraine, as repeated by several media, the global food crisis we are facing is actually a deep and structural crisis in the capitalist mode of production in its neoliberal stage.
The following data gives warning. From 2014 to 2021, the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity in the world increased from 565 to 924 million. In May 2022, the UN Council blew the whistle: other food crises are in the offing.
While the invasion of Ukraine destabilized several countries, the food crisis had started long before. Paradoxically, global food production has increased at a higher rate than the demographic growth for over half a century and the global cereal crop reached a historic high in 2021. So while we produce abundant food resources, one human being out of ten is suffering from hunger.
How is this possible?
The food crisis that hits the Global South so hard is thus not related to insufficient cereal production but to a distribution issue. It has to be remembered that several decades of structural readjustment policies imposed by he World Bank or the IMF have rendered most of those countries dependent on international markets and now have to rely on import of cereals and other food stuff to feed their populations. Roughly hit by the price increase in a time of crisis, those countries that had substantially reduced their local food production can no longer buy enough cereals. Let us emphasize too that while whole populations cannot access enough cereals to feed on, 10% of the cereals produced globally are used as fuel and 35% as fodder for farm animals.
Speculation on hunger must stop
The neoliberal model means that countries are brutally sensitive to food insecurity…