Excellent article by Jeremy Harding on the seven fundamental problems in food and farming today. (Thanks Abi)
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The 600 million army
"Finally, there is the state of the world’s 1.1 billion agricultural workers: more than half of them own neither land nor machinery and live in a state of semi-slavery. The conditions of this new global underclass are at last a matter of concern: worldwide food production is set on a downturn as their wretchedness weakens their capacity to produce and earn, driving more people inexorably towards the cities. The head count of these land armies – 600 million at a guess – sounds impressive but it doesn’t change the fact that the overall number of people working in agriculture is falling. ‘In both developed and developing countries,’ the Chatham House report states, ‘the pressure on the agricultural workforce is increasing.’"