World Hunger: The Problem Left Behind

World Hunger: The Problem Left Behind

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The drought-induced run-up in corn prices is a reminder that we’re nowhere near solving the problem of feeding the world. The price surge, the third major international food price spike in the last five years, casts more doubt on the assumption that widespread economic development leads to corresponding gains in agriculture.

The green revolution has slowed since the early 1990s, and it has become harder to bolster crop yields. Recent research by Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard, indicates that agricultural productivity improvements are among the hardest to transmit from one nation to another. For all its importance to human well-being, agriculture seems to be one of the lagging economic sectors of the last two decades. That means the problem of hunger is flaring up again, as the World Bank and several United Nations agencies have recently warned.

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