Published April 28, 2009 10:00 AM

Do we need a new green revolution?

The right to food is an inalienable right. In the context of climate change, a growing population, limited water supplies, increasing use of biofuels, and declining resources, how can we ensure this right becomes a reality for all citizens?

The Green Revolution based on industrialised agriculture has produced food on an unprecedented scale. However, it has also produced inequitable results, largely failed in Africa, caused environmental problems and facilitated growing corporate control.

Climate change is affecting the food security of people around the world now. The current food crisis and the worsening effects of climate change have meant that food and farming have returned to the news and development agenda.

DfID believes that agriculture is fundamental to reducing poverty and hunger. Three out of four people (2.5 billion people) in developing countries live in rural areas and depend on agriculture both to feed their family and for their livelihood. When people have access to a steady food supply all year, they are able to earn an income, have strength to go to work and school, enjoy improved health and better plan for the future.


Despite the fact that enough crops are grown to feed everyone in the world, one billion people are currently facing life-threatening situations of malnutrition and half of all child deaths are related to malnutrition. This situation is only going to get worse with the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that food crop yields in some African countries could decline by as much as 50%. Climate change threatens to undermine progress on the Millennium Development Goals.

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