DEFRA’s Food Policy Unit is inviting comments on sustainable food production (at firstname.lastname@example.org).
I have replied that the British government’s initiatives include a number of useful developments – but also one seriously flawed assumption: namely, that ‘we must increase food production in order to meet increasing demand’.
We already produce more than enough food to feed the world; our failure has been one of distribution, not technology. The essential task is for the ‘rich’ world to release some of its grip of the world’s food resources, and enable local communities worldwide to be in control of feeding themselves.
The growth in human population will of course mean that there will be more mouths to feed (a trend which itself would be better controlled via greater equality), but unless we achieve much greater equality regarding access to food, we will always be plagued by the inefficiencies of our current economic system, and no amount of technological innovation (as with the supposed ‘green revolution’ of the 1970s) will solve it.