The United Nations has declared a need for a “farming revolution” to keep millions of people worldwide from falling into poverty due to a rise in food costs. The agency called for farming changes in a UN-sponsored report released April 15 by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD).
Parts of West Africa, Haiti, Egypt and the Philippines have experienced riots in response to recent hikes in the price of rice, soy and wheat, according to the report. Wheat prices surged 130 percent, and soy prices climbed 87 percent since 2007.
Some factors causing hikes in food prices include a rise in the number of fertile lands now devoted to biofuel crops and a rise in oil prices, and therefore, transportation.
According to a BBC article, some scientists believe that to prevent mass poverty, farmers need to practice “natural processes,” such as crop rotation and the use of organic fertilizers. Food should also travel shorter distances from producer to consumer, said the report.
Fifty-five countries signed their approval of the report. The United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia did not endorse the study due to the commission’s stance on trade and agricultural subsidies.