Growth curb
By Subodh Verma, Times of India, 22 Jan 2011

The three main factors  of farm suicides are (a) the comprehensive agrarian crisis encompassing income/profitability, employment generation productivity and production. (b) pre-existing, fragile conditions of agriculture characterised by low levels of development of productive forces, persistence of highly exploitative production relations and high levels of inequalities and imbalances. (c) absence of alternate avenues of employment and livelihood options.

Between January 2008 and December 2010, retail prices in 33 cities set a blistering pace of increase. Rice prices rose by 42 per cent, tur dal by 46 percent, wheat by 30 per cent. Onion prices jumped by a jaw dropping 198 percent and potato by 37 per cent.Traders were pocketing profits at the rate of about 135 per cent but as the profit margins show, the bulk of the mark-up is occurring not at the farmers' level  but at the traders' level after the farmer has sold his produce at the wholesale mandi.

India needs at least 280 million tonnes of food grains by 2020 going by current population growth trends. That works out to about 2 per cent growth in production every year. The average growth rate in the past decade has been just 0.48 per cent.

Action Aid's Hungerfree Campaign
10 point Action Plan to End Hunger
  • - Make sure no one goes hungry
  • - Expand Social protection measures
  • - Enhance the status and incomes of women
  • - Invest in small-scale sustainable agriculture to boost production and incomes
  • - Support women farmers and producers
  • - Scale up mitigation, adaptation, financing and technology in response to climate change
  • - Regulate agribusiness
  • - Trade deals must protect rural livelihoods
  • - End targets and subsidies for biofuels
  • - Stop speculation in international commodities future markets
The causes of and remedies for the food crisis are hotly contested; how this rupture in the status quo is resolved will have decisive implications for the roles of the IFIs as well as more broadly for global food security and ecological sustainability. The UN estimates that the recent food price increase will add 100 million to the over 850 million people who were already short of food. The IFIs trace 15 per cent of the increase to higher energy and fertilizer costs linked to skyrocketing oil prices, and another 15 - 30 per cent to the impact of biofuels. They have been silent on the role of speculative financial capital, which Peter Rosset, researcher at the Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano, calls \"one of the most important\" short-term causes. Other short-term factors include record-low food stocks and severe weather events such as last year\'s Australian drought.
Agribusiness vs. food security: The food crisis and the IFIs
by , Share The World's Resources, 21 June, 2008
At the same time, investing in women is key to solving the food crisis. Rural women alone produce half of the world’s food and 60% to 80% of the food in most developing countries, but receive less than 10% of credit provided to farmers.[7] Increasing women’s access to the means of agricultural production, such as farming land or fertilizers, farm labor, credit and education, as well as decision-making authority within the household, is crucial to guaranteeing food security and improving the nutritional status of children.[8] In some places, if women had the same access as men to land, seed, and fertilizer, agricultural productivity could increase by up to 20 percent. Further, decades of research and experience have shown that when women have extra income, they reinvest in their children’s health and education, creating a positive cycle of growth for the entire family.
The Effect of the Food Crisis on Women and Their Families
by , Global Policy Forum, 01 May, 2008
Take a closer look at the growing disparity of wealth, which certainly includes the inequality of food distribution and our faulty public distribution system Each year over eight million people die worldwide because they are simply too poor to stay alive. More than 800 million people go hungry every day. The gross domestic product of the poorest 48 nations is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people. Thirty-thousand children die every day due to hunger and treatable illnesses. Six million children die every year before their fifth birthday, as a result of malnutrition. According to the Human Development Report (HDR) 2002, the richest one per cent of the world’s people receives as much income each year as the poorest 57 per cent. The richest five per cent of the world’s people have incomes 114 times those of the poorest five per cent. In India, the bottom 40 per cent of the population remains at poverty levels with consumption of barely 2,400 calories a day. Take the instance of Mumbai, the country’s super-rich, in which, according to the World Bank, 54 per cent of the city’s 15 million residents live in slums.
Hunger and inequality
by Prasenjit Chowdhury, The Hindu, 14 November, 2008