The Growing Global Food Hierarchy

As if the skyrocketing prices of food in the developing world were not enough, those struggling to afford enough to eat are now dealing with another twist: a sharpening hierarchy that is inducing even countries with not enough food for themselves to sell it off to the highest bidders. FT reports:

The race by food-importing countries to secure farmland overseas to improve their food security risks creating a “neo-colonial” system, the United Nations’ top agriculture official has cautioned.

The warning by Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, comes as countries from Saudi Arabia to China plan to lease vast tracts of land in Africa and Asia to grow crops and ship them back to their markets.

The proof is in the pudding, of course — or in this case, perhaps in the sorghum — and, as this Jeffrey Gettleman NYT article made clear, Sudan is in fact one player in this new game, selling off a quantity of crops large enough to feed the displaced population in its western province of Darfur.

Something tells me that “locavores” would be none too happy about this dynamic.