SID Vienna Chapter dialogue on 'food globalization, food sovereignty, food security'.

The issue of “food security “ and of “food sovereignty” have come to figure prominently in the discussion on emerging global challenges . Accordingly, both find mention in the concluding document of the 2012 Rio + 20” earth summit. Yet the issues and questions underlying these catch words seem in need of closer scrutiny, as they sit at the center of several dichotomies...

SID Vienna: global agriculture at crossroads. The discussion has to be conducted against the background of trends in the production and in the consumption of agricultural products. Up unto recently and if seen in terms of global averages, a secular trend has been in the direction of ever lower real prices and of a steadily increasing per capita production. Today though, we have to ask whether these long-term trends might have become reversed. The increase in per hectare productivity has slowed since quite some time and prices for some staples such as rice wheat and corn have spiked. In parts, that might be due to merely temporary factors and disturbances – such as droughts or flooding in some of the main exporters of such staples, or to the impact of mere speculation detached from the reality of agricultural markets. But other likely causes would be of a more long term nature.

In order to take account of various aspects of food production and food consumption, the Vienna Chapter of SID had invited some outside experts to its meeting on March 4th expecting them to approach the issue from different angles even at the cost of arriving at policy recommendations that were contradictory.

Download full report of the SID Vienna discussion

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Photo: flickr/russelljsmith