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A few weeks ago, our CGD Note, Unwanted Rice in Japan Can Solve the Rice Crisis -- If Washington and Tokyo Act, created quite a stir. Policy makers and the public could not believe that Japan was feeding rice to animals at a time when millions of poor people were going hungry because food prices were unaffordable. Sadly, Tokyo's Ministry of Agriculture still does not get it. Today's press quotes the head of the ministry's livestock department as saying that Japan plans to increase its subsidized sales of rice to its livestock sector by 50% to more than 600,0000 tons. At a time when millions of people are facing starvation, Japan is choosing to turn its rice stocks into cattle feed.
There is still time to act, especially in the run up to the Japan-hosted G8 Summit next month. The Japanese government must act now -- to donate stocks directly to the World Food Programme, release it for sale on world markets and commit its 2008 mandatory purchases for direct shipment to the WFP.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) have teamed up with Democratic colleagues Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to introduce new legislation that would reform US international food aid to deliver more help to more people in crisis, faster.
As donors gather next week in Rome to pledge funds to the International Fund for Agriculture Development , they may be wondering where the United States is. Given the generally high marks this independent fund earns for development effectiveness, the uncertainty around a US pledge is troubling. In this “America First” moment, it’s worth asking when it comes to IFAD, what’s in it for the United States and what will be lost if the United States drops out?
One of the mysteries of development economics is why more people in subsistence agriculture don't migrate to cities where incomes are much, much higher. New data suggests one answer: when they move, their incomes may not go up as much as we thought.
Members of the World Trade Organization will be meeting next week in Buenos Aires to discuss the future of agricultural and other trade policies that could have important implications for food security and jobs in developing countries (eventually). And members of the US House and Senate agricultural committees will be meeting through next year to craft a new five-year farm bill that will help shape global markets and determine how much and how quickly US food aid can be delivered to people in desperate need around the world.