The shocking landmark will be passed ~ despite a second record worldwide harvest in a row ~ because people are becoming too destitute to buy food. Decades of progress in reducing hunger are being abruptly reversed, dealing a devastating blow to a pledge by world leaders to cut it in half by 2015. Rich countries have failed to provide promised money to boost agriculture in the Third World; the financial crisis is starving developing countries of credit and driving their people into greater poverty, and food aid to the starving is expected to begin drying up next month.
2009: The year of the hungry
by Geoffrey Lean, The Statesman, 29 December, 2008
A United Nations report shows a sharp increase in the number of people who did not get enough to eat in 2008. According to preliminary data put out by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), around 40 million more people have joined the ranks of the hungry over the past year. This increase in the number of people going hungry has been attributed to the world food crisis, which led in turn to rising food prices. Although prices of cereals did come down subsequently, the fall was not enough to put food within the reach of millions across the world, with the result that the world now has around 963 million people who are not getting enough to eat. Around a quarter of the world’s hungry are in India.
Growing hunger
by , The Deccan Herald, 26 December, 2008
Small groups, called Pragati Bandhus, are helping marginal farmers in Karnataka plan their entire crop cycle besides giving them money.Karnataka still has the largest number of farmers’ suicides, about 7,000 this year. But the model it houses is being acknowledged as the best remedy for farmer distress. Nabard says so, and more recently, it was chosen the best global model for inclusive banking at a contest sponsored by Citibank and organised by the Ashoka Changemakers.
Making farmers grow
by Sreelatha Menon, Business Standard, 28 December, 2008
Buried under the whole array of angry reactions following the Mumbai terror is yet another and perhaps more violent disaster. A startling piece of news that should have shaken up the country’s screaming elite has not even been perceived by the electronic media as worthy of being dubbed as breaking news. That 16,632 farmers had committed suicide in 2007, with Maharashtra topping the list, has simply been ignored.
Stimulus for agriculture;A bailout for farming?
by Devinder Sharma, The Deccan Herald, 26 December, 2008
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan today announced a Rs 6,200 crore farm loan waiver for the 4 million farmers in the state who were not covered by the central government’s Rs 71,000 crore farm loan waiver announced earlier this year.The package will be beneficial to the farmers who own more than 5 acres land and those who have paid their loan regularly.Farmers who have defaulted on loan payments before April 1, 1997, and who were not covered by the central government’s package, will also get the benefit under the state government’s package.
Maharashtra government announces Rs 6,200 crore farm-loan waiver
by , Business Standard, 31 December, 2008