The ‘State of the World 2011′ report of the World Watch Institute: innovations that nourish the planet
from Merijn Knibbe
Two weeks ago the World Watch Institute published its ‘State of the World’ report (links can be found here). It’s about agriculture and food on a planet which sees its number of human inhabitants increase. A very important figure is 1.1 in: (click here, p. 6): bucking a 140 year old long run trend, food prices are moving upwards, since 2000.
An excerpt (emphasis added):
New York, 12 January 2011—Worldwatch Institute today released its report State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, which spotlights successful agricultural innovations and unearths major successes in preventing food waste, building resilience to climate change, and strengthening farming in cities. The report provides a roadmap for increased agricultural investment and more-efficient ways to alleviate global hunger and poverty. Drawing from the world’s leading agricultural experts and from hundreds of innovations that are already working on the ground, the report outlines 15 proven, environmentally sustainable prescriptions …
State of the World 2011 comes at a time when many global hunger and food security initiatives—such as the Obama administration’s Feed the Future program, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)—can benefit from new insight into environmentally sustainable projects that are already working to alleviate hunger and poverty.
Nearly a half-century after the Green Revolution, a large share of the human family is still chronically hungry. While investment in agricultural development by governments, international lenders, and foundations has escalated in recent years, it is still nowhere near what is needed to help the 925 million people who are undernourished. Since the mid-1980s when agricultural funding was at its height, agriculture’s share of global development aid has fallen from over 16 percent to just 4 percent today.
In 2008, $1.7 billion dollars in official development assistance was provided to support agricultural projects in Africa, based on statistics from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—a miniscule amount considering the vital return on investment. Given the current global economic conditions, investments are not likely to increase in the coming year. Much of the more recently pledged funding has yet to be raised, and existing funding is not being targeted efficiently to reach the poor farmers of Africa.