Entries in Food Shortages (3)


UN Warns of Major Food Shortages in Syria

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The growing humanitarian crisis in Syria resulting from the two-year civil war now includes dramatic food shortages and steep price increases on everyday supplies.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned on Wednesday that Syria’s farming sector was now in "tatters" with wheat and barley, staples of the Syrian diet, in rapidly diminishing supply.

Having seen the devastation firsthand, FAO Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon said, "I was very saddened by the situation.  The mission was struck by the plight of the Syrian people."

Much of the warfare between government and rebel forces has taken place in Syria's northern agricultural belt near the major cities of Aleppo and Idlib.  With opposition fighters cutting off supply routes, city residents have been particularly susceptible to food shortages.

Meanwhile, the conflict has also jeopardized the livelihoods of many of the tens of millions of Syrians whose jobs are tied to agriculture industry.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Libyan Rebels Devise Plans to Resolve Tripoli Shortages

Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI) -- Food, water and other necessities will arrive in Tripoli Sunday, Mahmoud Shammam of the National Transitional Council (NTC) confirmed.

BBC News reports that area food, water and medicine shortages are threatening lives, according to the United Nations.

Diesel is expected to arrive Sunday to restore electricity.

Humanitarian supplies are able to enter Libya at Ras Jidir where the pre-Gaddafi Libyan flag was hoisted late Friday, according to locals.

The main border crossing with Tunisia is now under rebel control.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Is Vertical Farming the Solution to Growing Global Food Insecurity?

Design Pics/The Irish Image Collection/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier says that his Vertical Farm Project could save the world as the swelling global population begins to overwhelm the food supply.

In his book Vertical Farm, Despommier explains that a series of greenhouses stacked on top of each other and placed in urban environments could provide a sustainable source of food as more people migrate into cities.

Despommier predicts that within 20 years, 80 percent of the world's population will live in cities.

"The biggest difficulty we're facing is a misdistribution of resources right now," Despommier told ABC News. "In the near future, we'll have shortages, period."

Vertical farming uses many of the same techniques found in modern greenhouses, but stacks them one on top of the other in order to create vertical farmland that uses much less space than traditional fields. One indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop.

"An indoor farmer doesn't pray for rain," Despommier said.

Some of the techniques are based in aeroponics, which is a technology that grows plants using air or mist and not soil, and hydroponics, which grows plants in nutrient and mineral-rich solutions in water, also without using soil.

"You can ask anybody [who lives near greenhouse agriculture] what it's like to taste a nice, delicious tomato in the middle of January if they live in a region with a long winter," Despommier said.

Another potential advantage of vertical farming is a virtual inoculation against weather-related crop failures due to droughts and floods. This has become increasingly more important as climate change affects weather patterns and farmland.

The latest report on global food insecurity by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that every food-producing country in the world had experienced some kind of environmental problem in the last year that has affected food production.

Until just a few months ago, vertical farming was still just an idea. Since then, a Dutch group has created a vertical farm in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch, and a group of investors is planning another one in Milwaukee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio