But agronomic advances alone will notensure food security.
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Agricultural education and its long standing ties to democraticprocesses presents one set of options for utilization in situations where both technical andsocial change are needed. However, these traditional agricultural education approachesrequire significant modification to be successful under the heightened tensions in theBalkans. Examples of strategies utilized by agricultural educators from Greece and otherBalkan countries are included.
The paper concludes with comments on the responsibility ofvarious stakeholders as a key in building trust, stability and prosperity.
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Home Start here Conference Journal. But will these efforts suffice? This volume explores the complex relationship between food security and sociopolitical stability up to roughly Organized around a series of original essays by leading global technical experts, a key message of this volume is that actions taken in an effort to address food security stressors may have consequences for food security, stability, or both that ultimately matter far more than the direct impacts of biophysical drivers such as climate or land or water scarcity.
The means by which governments, firms, and private philanthropies tackle the food security challenge of the coming decade will fundamentally shape the relationship between food security and sociopolitical stability. Barrett, Stephen B. He holds degrees from Princeton A.
He has published several books and more than journal articles or book chapters. He served as editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics , and is an associate editor or editorial board member of the African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Egerton Kenya Journal of Humanities.
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Barrett 2. Rosegrant, Simla Tokgoz, and Prapti Bhandary 3.
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Cane and Dong Eun Lee 4. McClanahan, Eddie H. Allison, and Joshua E. This confirms that there is a direct relationship between food insecurity in the form of international food price spikes and sociopolitical unrest in poorer countries, while these price spikes are not shown to create unrest in wealthier countries.
The food riots of and of and the concurrent fluctuations in the Food Price Index provide further evidence for this finding. In , the Food Price Index was at In the Food Price Index jumped to over The Food Price Index dropped to about in , and then began rising again, reaching its peak in at The price index of cereals in , a commodity of high importance for the MENA region, was particularly high at Needless to say, the jump in the Food Price Index coincided with the infamous Arab Spring, where sociopolitical instability swept across the region.
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In sum, international food price spikes create acute food insecurity for middle-class urban populations of poorer countries, resulting in at least unrest and possibly even sociopolitical instability. If the MENA is vulnerable to food insecurity, and if food insecurity is a proven cause of unrest, and in particular, is correlated to the Arab Spring, then why was the intensity of the unrest uneven throughout the region? For example,. Food insecurity and unrest are then less likely to occur in states like the Gulf States where youth unemployment is lower.
The disparity in the wealth of MENA countries is one of the most noteworthy differences among countries in the region. The wealth of a country is a huge factor in determining the stability of its food security, especially in the MENA where most of its food is imported. This is because wealthier states can implement more effective social protection policies. The most common response to possible food security threats is food subsidies, which are shown to minimize unrest in response to rising food prices by making food more economically accessible Barrett et al 14, Moreover, while these policy interventions do temporarily make food more economically accessible, they do not increase the global supply of food.
Rather, they merely export stress to a different group Barrett et al. The fewer funds a state has available, the more vulnerable its economy will be to food price shocks. The successful subsides were the ones implemented in the wealthier states, hence the presence of minimal unrest and the absence of sociopolitical instability in those countries.
While there is evidence that food insecurity causes unrest, it is not the only cause of unrest and it does not necessarily lead to sociopolitical instability. The Arab Spring was not exclusively in response to decreases in the accessibility of food.
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Rather, the Arab Spring was more about expressing dissatisfaction with poor governance, lack of political and civil liberties, and a sense of moral outrage and injustice targeted at the ruling regimes. In the case of Bahrain the unrest was in response to,. Food price spikes were simply not necessary for its Shia citizens to unite and express aggravation over its oppressive Sunni ruling regime.
What can be concluded then, is that while wealthier Arab countries are more food secure and thus only received a small taste of the Arab Spring within their borders, the particular intensity of other underlying structural pressures aside from food insecurity caused Bahrain to experience sociopolitical instability as well. However, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, and Morocco were also deemed seriously food insecure, yet the Arab Spring uprisings were not vibrant enough to cause sociopolitical instability to the same degree as in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Syria.
So even though food price shocks did lead to unrest in all of these poor and food insecure Arab countries, not all of the necessary factors were in place for sustained sociopolitical instability in the same way as in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen. The Arab Spring was primarily a protest against governments calling for more political and civil liberties, and was fueled by long-held resentment stemming from a sense of moral outrage and injustice. However, the unrest came in various levels of intensity—in some countries there was hardly any unrest the Gulf states while in others the sociopolitical instability led to outright rebellion Libya and Syria.
While the Arab Spring was not about food insecurity, it is likely that the rapid rise in international food prices caused the middle class urban populations to experience acute food insecurity, which provided the necessary motivation for the people to generate unrest.
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