The Unflat World of Global Food Production
The Economist recently carried a feature on countries buying up farmland overseas to hedge themselves against the new imbalances of the future …. food production and consumption. The OPEC of the grain world are the USA and Canada, accounting for 70% of the world’s production. And demand is increasing in food stressed countries of China, India, N Africa etc. Thomas PM Barnett’s recent article on the unflat world of global food production highlights the intensification of these imbalances. Here are a few quotes.
” Today, the average food product travels roughly 1,500 miles from farm to dinner table. Imagine doubling that journey — or more — by 2030, when the world is projected to consume 50 percent more food than it does today.”
“But here’s where the new rules really kick in: A 21st century dominated by advances in biotechnologies is sure to feature commensurate bioweaponization, including among the weapons wielded by transnational terrorists. As energy production becomes increasingly localized thanks to technology breakthroughs, expect global food transportation systems to become the preeminently vulnerable — and thus preeminently guarded — commodity network on the planet.”
How can we prepare to align ourselves in these new imbalances?