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Document Details :
Title: World Food Security and Agriculture in a Globalizing World
Subtitle: Challenges and Ethics
Author(s): TOLLENS, Eric , DE TAVERNIER, Johan
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Date: March 2006
There is an increasing awareness of the importance of food security, of which the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the best measure. Although some progress has been made in some regions, much progress still needs to be made in Sub-Saharan Africa, where agriculture largely remains subsistence and personal savings extremely low, and where population growth outstrips economic growth. Thus, there has been a renewed effort to bring these problems back on the development agenda. Food insecurity is a major manifestation of poverty, and hence agricultural development is the most effective way out of rural poverty. The ethical imperative is to bring about the political will to effect such development. Institutions must be built that focus on smallholder development as an engine of economic growth. Along with classic issues of development (access to land, water, seeds, technology, etc.), the rural poor, who respond well to market-based development and are thus good micro-credit risks, must be given access to markets and finances. The drive to bring the rural poor into the market is frustrated, however, bythe subsidies that the Northern nations use to prop up their own markets and farmers. One of the most pressing ethical questions, then, remains how the North can continue to support its subsidy system, while, at the same time, contributing to development work.