This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

UN Responds to Food Riots

In response to the recent increase in food prices, and the food riots in Mozambique, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization has called a meeting of grain experts from around the world to assess the supply situation. The problem in Mozambique may have been unique in that the government there had kept prices artificially low in order to garner votes before last year's election, and then had to face reality this month and raise prices back up to where they should have been. But the situation is a reminder of the global jitters that exist when most countries are not food self-sufficient and, in the face of growing populations, are increasingly dependent upon supplies especially from richer nations. Into this mix comes the unknown effects on agricultural productivity of global climate change.
But the world also has to come to grips with changing weather patterns due to climate change, argued Prof. Per Pinstrup-Anderson, an expert in international agriculture atCornell University.

“We are going to have much bigger fluctuations in weather and therefore the food supply than we had in the past, so we are going to have to learn how to cope with fluctuating food prices,” Professor Pinstrup-Anderson said.

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