World Food Day 2008 provides an occasion to once again highlight the plight of 923 million undernourished people in the world. Most of them live in rural areas where their main source of income is the agricultural sector. Global warming and the biofuel boom are now threatening to push the number of hungry even higher in the decades to come.
The State of Food and Agriculture 2008 explores the implications of the recent rapid growth in production of biofuels based on agricultural commodities. The boom in liquid biofuels has been largely driven by policies in developed countries in support of climate-change mitigation, energy security and agricultural development. The growing demand for agricultural commodities for the production of biofuels is having significant repercussions on agricultural markets, and concerns are mounting over their negative impact on the food security of millions of people across the world. At the same time, the environmental impacts of biofuels are also coming under closer scrutiny. But biofuels also offer the opportunity for agricultural and rural development — if appropriate policies and investments are put in place.
And from the BBC: