Hunger Grains: Are EU policies undermining progress on development?

admin - November 29, 2013

An earlier version of this piece appeared in the October issue of the Government Gazette Today we fear EU ambassadors will agree a really bad deal on EU biofuel reform. In 2009 EU governments agreed that by 2020 10% of the energy used in transport would have to come from renewable sources. This target will almost exclusively be met by using food-based biofuels and has …

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The Hunger Grains: new research shows EU biofuel policies drive food prices and land grabs

admin - September 17, 2012

Oxfam economic policy adviser Ruth Kelly (right) unveils her new paper, published today, on a really simple, bad policy that rich countries can fix – biofuels. The past five years have seen two record spikes in the price of food; and prices are rising again, with corn and soy hitting record highs in summer 2012. There is intense disagreement about what causes food price spikes …

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The latest (big) numbers on land grabs, and some powerful case studies

admin - September 22, 2011

Oxfam adds its voice to the growing clamour about land grabs with two new reports out today. Land and Power: The Growing Scandal Surrounding the New Wave of Investments in Land pulls together some fascinating (and sometimes shocking) case studies from South Sudan, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Guatemala, and adds up some big new global numbers. The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations goes …

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Introducing Growbag, a round up of new research on food, farming and climate by guest blogger Richard King

admin - August 5, 2011

I can’t keep up with the flood of research on the issues related to the GROW campaign, so my ever-hungry colleague Richard King is riding to the rescue…… This occasional ‘blog series is a nutritionally dense (but non-exhaustive) collection of links, highlighting major recent publications and miscellaneous happenings that are relevant to Oxfam’s GROW campaign. Like any growbag, this series requires planting and watering (to …

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Living on a spike – how are high food prices actually experienced by people living in poverty?

admin - June 22, 2011

The G20’s Agriculture Ministers are meeting for the first time today and tomorrow, in Paris, a sign of the rising importance of food security and related issues, following the recent chaos in global food prices (see graph). Oxfam is focussing its lobby efforts on biofuels (in many cases, a bad thing, diverting food to fuel and not even helping reduce carbon emissions) and food reserves …

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Successful Green Industrial Policy – Brazilian biofuels

admin - May 11, 2010

The highly polarized debate on the role of industrial policy in development is dominated by discussions of the East Asian tigers, so good to see a discussion from another continent on what makes for successful state intervention – Brazil and biofuels. Here’s the highlights from a recent article by Tarun Khanna of the Harvard Business School and Santiago Mingo of the University of Miami School …

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Is the world running out of water?

admin - April 20, 2009

Excellent overview of water scarcity in last week’s Economist. Here are a few highlights ‘The overthrow of Madagascar’s president in mid-March was partly caused by water problems—in South Korea. Worried by the difficulties of increasing food supplies in its water-stressed homeland, Daewoo, a South Korean conglomerate, signed a deal to lease no less than half Madagascar’s arable land to grow grain for South Koreans. Widespread …

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It's G8 time again

admin - December 7, 2008

In Hokkaido, Japan, this week, staff from across Oxfam International will be lobbying governments, talking to the press, and periodically donning the ‘big heads’ – giant replicas of the G8 leaders, which we lug around from conference to conference. Dreaming up stunts for the big heads is one of the more fun bits of summitry, and provides an essential service to TV journalists. There’s nothing …

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