Hunger and Agroecology
Bill Resnick talks with Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau, Outreach and Partnerships Coordinator for the Global Movements Program of Why Hunger?. They discuss how the problem of hunger is affected by long-standing issues of commodity speculation, demand for biofuels, so-called free trade, and dismantling of state supports, as well as more recent factors like land sales and increasing production for export. They note that we have enough food to feed the world—the problem is not production but distribution. Among the ironies of the current situation is the fact that hunger is especially a problem for farmers and rural workers, and the increasing impact of neoliberalism—whereby patented and copyrighted agricultural materials lead to farmers' inability to save seed—has been enriching middlemen and agribusiness while impoverishing small farmers, whose suicide rate has increased. Recent research on agroecology confirms the work of Nobel prizewinner Elinor Ostrum who showed that common resources are best managed by those who use them. Research available through the Food Sovereignty Alliance shows that sustainable and organic agriculture can and must feed the world, since is it at least as productive as chemical agriculture, and also more resilient to climate change, and reduces poverty among farmers.