The G8 summit has agreed a 10-billion euro food aid package as ensuring sufficient food supplies for the world becomes an ever more pressing issue.
Poorer countries say the playing field is far from level, with richer nations buying up their farmland while blocking free trade. The United Nations hopes the summit will produce concrete changes. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, said: “We need to be able to help those smallholder farmers with necessary agricultural input – seed and fertilizer, pesticides – those are things which will help their immediate yield.” But even then, farmers from developing nations can find themselves blocked out of the international market say action groups who want the west to change its agricultural policies. Kumi Naidoo, the co-Chair of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty explained: “You can’t deal with food security issues without also looking at the question of trade. And the fact that the trade negotiations at the WTO had been stuck. “The fact that in Europe, for example, the EU subsidizes every cow to the tune of two euros a day , and half the people on this planet live on less than that, those subsidies distort trade.” Last month, the World Food Programme revealed the number of people going hungry had reached a new record of more than a billion – one in six of the entire population.