ED (evildevil) wrote in ontd_political,
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Invisible Hand to Feed the World and Solve World Hunger for a Price...

Capitalism Asks Starving Poor Masses to "Voluntarily" withhold their Appetite in the Name of the Free Market to Protect Price Stability.

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut

Iowa farmer Karl Fox is drowning in corn.

Reluctant to sell his harvest at today's rock-bottom prices, he has stuffed storage bins at his property full and left more corn piled on the ground, covered with a tarp.

He would rather risk potential crop damage from the elements than pay the exorbitant cost of storage elsewhere.


"That's how poor people do it," said Fox, who has been farming for 28 years. "You do what you have to do."

Farmers face similar problems across the globe. World stockpiles of corn and wheat are at record highs. From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for basic foodstuffs.

Global stocks of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans combined will hit a record 671.1 million tonnes going into the next harvest - the third straight year of historically high surplus, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That's enough to cover demand from China for about a year.

In the United States, farmers facing a fourth straight year of declining incomes and rising debts are hanging on to grain in the hope of higher prices later. They may be waiting a long time: Market fundamentals appear to be weakening as the world's top grain producers ponder what to do with so much food.

The persistent glut is a striking contrast from the panic a decade ago, when severe droughts in Russia and the United States sent prices soaring. The shrinking supply forced big importers such as China to enact policies to encourage more domestic production and increase the volume of storage to improve food security.

China abandoned that policy last year and is now selling off hundreds of millions of tonnes of old stocks.

Russia, too, is looking at exporting from state-held stockpiles, with storage stuffed after a record harvest in 2016.

A surge of Chinese and Russian exports would put even more downward pressure on prices in an oversupplied global market.

That means U.S. farmers will likely be producing more grain for less money. The USDA forecasts net farm income will fall 8.7 percent this year to $62.3 billion - the lowest level since 2009.

CATERPILLARS, RODENTS AND DONKEYS

In farms across Iowa, corn bulges in plastic tubes that snake across the fields.

The grain-stuffed silo bags are taller than a man, often longer than a soccer field and look like monstrous white caterpillars.

On the other side of the globe in Australia, demand for the storage bags has exploded after farmers produced record crops of wheat and barley.

They are laying across fields in Argentina, too. There, wheat production spiked 41.6 percent this year over the 2015/16 season, according to the most recent USDA data.

There are risks to using the bags, however, as wild animals ranging from rodents to armadillos and even donkeys can be tempted to break in for the grain, said Mariano Bosch, the head of Adecoagro SA (AGRO.K), which farms more than 225,000 hectares of row crops in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

When the company expanded its grain plantings in northern Argentina, he said, they started building electrified fences around their silo bags to keep out cougars and pumas.

"They won't eat the grain. They're just curious," said Bosch, who added that about 40 percent of the company's grain this year is stored in silo bags.

In neighboring Brazil, the world's largest soybean shipper and the second-largest exporter of corn, towering grain silos have sprung up all across the country.

GRAINS ON THE RUNWAY

Storing grain gives farmers more control over when and how they sell, to avoid low harvest-time prices and to best take advantage of spikes in futures or currency swings.

But with storage running short - and a mountain of grain to move ahead of summer or early autumn harvests - that control is slipping away.

Farmers with mounting bills, tight cash-flow and nowhere to store crops may have to sell them - even if it means taking a loss.

In Goodland, Kansas, where the next wheat harvest begins in late June, farmers holding grain in silos are facing cash wheat prices of about $3.15 a bushel and cash corn prices of $2.90 a bushel - both well below production costs of at least $4 a bushel. CORNSCUGDL-C1 WHRWFAGGDL-C1

Permanent storage in the United States can handle about 24.3 billion bushels - well short of the 25.9 billion bushels of wheat, soybeans and feed grains the USDA said was piled up by the end of last autumn's harvest.

The overflow in the United States has prompted a rush for temporary storage. The USDA has approved permits for more than 1.2 billion bushels of temporary and emergency grain storage - such as tarp-covered piles and open-air mounds. That's a record amount, according to the USDA.

In Kansas, some grain owners are renting airport tarmacs from decommissioned military bases, empty farm fields and parking lots to stash their corn as the situation becomes acute, according to farmers and local, state and federal officials.

Meanwhile, there are no signs of a slowdown in grain production.

The USDA already expects 2016/17 global harvests to be the highest since its records started in 1960/61 at 340.79 million tonnes of soybeans, 1.049 billion tonnes of corn and 751.07 million tonnes of wheat.

"Nobody is going to cut back," said Fox, the Iowa farmer.

With spring planting coming up, he is scouting for more storage space for this year's harvest.

"I have a note at the bank to pay off," he said. "I can't do less."

U.S. grain storage capacity

Permanent storage capacity has grown 26 percent in the past decade. Booming grain stocks are raising demand for temporary and emergency storage, with capacity up 13 percent from 2015.

Grains piled on runways, parking lots, fields amid global glut



UNHCR says death risk from starvation in Horn of Africa, Yemen, Nigeria growing, displacement already rising

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is warning today that the risk of mass deaths from starvation among populations in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and Nigeria is growing. This warning is in light of droughts that are also affecting many neighbouring countries and a funding shortfall that has become so severe that an avoidable humanitarian crisis in the region, possibly worse than that of 2011, is fast becoming an inevitability.


Already displacement is rising, forcing us to upgrade our displacement estimates for 2017. In Sudan, for example, where our initial estimate was for 60,000 arrivals from South Sudan this year, we are in the process of revising the expected total upwards to 180,000. Similarly in Uganda we are revising planning from 300,000 displaced to 400,000.

In all, more than 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are experiencing famine or are at risk. The regions in which these countries sit, including the Lake Chad basin, Great Lakes, East, Horn of Africa and Yemen together host well over 4 million refugees and asylum seekers. Consecutive harvests have failed, conflict in South Sudan coupled with drought is leading to famine and outflows of refugees, insecurity in Somalia is leading to rising internal displacement, and rates of malnutrition are high, especially among children and lactating mothers. In the Dollo Ado area of southeast Ethiopia for example, acute malnutrition rates among newly arriving Somali refugee children aged between 6 months and five years are now running at 50-79 percent.

Children account for the majority of refugees (62 per cent, for instance, in the case of refugees fleeing South Sudan) and in common with other refugees nearly all are dependent on food assistance via our sister-agency WFP. With no money to buy food, rations however are being cut. In Djibouti rations have been cut by 12 per cent, in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Rwanda by between 20 and 50 per cent, and in Uganda by up to 75 per cent. Many refugees are without full access to livelihoods and agriculture or food production and their ability to take matters into their own hands and help themselves is limited.

In this context, the risks to children can be particularly great. Already, many are dropping out of school. In Kenya, 175,000 students in drought areas have stopped attending school. In Ethiopia, almost 600 schools have closed. In all, some five million children could in the coming weeks and months see their educations being disrupted.

Inside Somalia, the internal displacement dynamics are shifting too. Of the half a million people displaced since November, 278,000 were displaced in the first quarter of 2017. More than 72,000 of these have moved to the capital Mogadishu. Some 69,000 others have headed to Baidoa in the country’s southwest. Somalia continues to see a complex situation of both outflows and returns (mainly from Yemen).

In famine hit parts of South Sudan, where UN agencies warned in February that fighting, insecurity, lack of access to aid and collapsing economy had left 100,000 people facing starvation in some parts of the country, a further 1 million people are now on the brink of famine.

In Yemen, which is experiencing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with almost 19 million people in need of humanitarian help, around 17 million people are food insecure. Food needs are being cited as the lead factor in displacement at three quarters of all locations where there are internally displaced people.

In northern Nigeria, seven million people are now struggling with food insecurity and need help. The situation is particularly bad in parts of Borno, Adamawa and Yobo states where by June it’s expected that some 5.1 million people will be in Integrated Food Security Phase classification levels of between 3 and 5 (worst).

UNHCR is scaling up efforts with its partners, we remind the international community that the Horn of Africa drought of 2011 cost more than 260,000 lives, more than half of these children aged below five. A repeat must be avoided at all costs. Our operations in South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen are today funded at between 3 and 11 percent. It is now urgent that the shortfalls be addressed.

UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi is attending a high-level extraordinary meeting in Berlin tomorrow, 12 April 2017. The “Berlin Humanitarian Call – jointly against famine” meeting, called for by the German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, will bring together donor countries and humanitarian partners, as well as local responders, to review and raise more awareness for the dire humanitarian situation in the countries affected

UNHCR says death risk from starvation in Horn of Africa, Yemen, Nigeria growing, displacement already rising



School lunch lady fired for giving free meals to poor students
Parents are outraged over the employee's firing

A lunch lady in Ohio was fired after school officials say she gave free food to students, including her grandkids.

Debbie Solsman has worked inside the Denver Elementary cafeteria for nearly 15 years. She was terminated from her job in February.


“It's been really hard for me. I thought I was doing the right thing,” Solsman said.

Solsman admits she gave food to students who didn’t have money in their accounts. She kept post-it notes filled with IOU’s and tells WLWT she would pay the balances off with her next paychecks.

The lunch lady also would give the regular meal, like pizza or a burger, to kids with past due accounts rather than cheese sandwiches and sides as per school policy.

“I did do wrong, I broke the rule, it was my fault, I just felt like termination was a harsh punishment,” Solsman said.

Some parents are outraged.

“I've got her calling me or them like uh-oh, it's cheese sandwich time. A kid can't get through the day on a cheese sandwich,” mother Danielle Davis said.

Documents reveal the school suspended Solsman and then fired her for providing food without payment to her grandkids.

The district Superintendent Ron Sexton says no child ever went without food.

“For people to make the district out as heartless to kids' needs is the hardest part. We care a great deal about our employees, we care a great deal about the students,” Sexton said.

“Firing her over feeding kids, that's a no go. And our community is going to come together,” mom Serenity Mitchell said.

“I want those kids to know that I miss them, and that I love them very much,” Solsman said.

Documents only say Solsman gave food to her grandkids, but the lunch lady says she helped any kid in need.

School officials couldn’t estimate how much money the school was owed or how long this had been going on.

Solsman says parents began reaching out to her after they found out she had been missing in the lunch room. Word began quickly spreading on social media. She had no intention of making her firing so public.

School lunch lady fired for giving free meals to poor students
Tags: africa, america fuck yeah, capitalism, capitalism fuck yeah, eat the rich, economics, economy, food, foreign policy, hunger, nigeria, oligarchy, world, yemen
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