Friday, August 22, 2008

Feeding China

I just saw an interesting report from Reuters titled "China Became Net Food Importer in First Half." That in turn got me thinking about a book I had once called Who Will Feed China? by Lester R. Brown.

As I watched the amazing economic growth in China, I thought less and less about the poorest in China. Even though I travel often to rural areas, and was aware of the demographics, I was so caught up in the economic movement forward that I stopped thinking about issues of basic survival. Amazingly, as I was faced with soaring metals prices (and even watched the soy bean crops near my house mature) I thought very little about food prices and availability. I even tossed out Who Will Feed China in one of my recent moves.

I suppose that rising commodity prices are hastening the end of subsistence farmers in the developing world. Good or bad (and my knowledge of agricultural economics is far too limited to know), the day is soon coming when a water buffalo is a rare sight in rural China, replaced by heavy equipment owned by some massive ag company.

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