The sustainability of hunger

On 4 December 2002, India's finance minister, Jaswant Singh, presented his government's mid-term review in parliament, emphasising a need to boost private investment in agriculture to thereby encourage commodity exports. What he forgot to mention was that by taking this path India had decided to follow Argentina's model of economic growth, which in reality expands the profits of a few agribusiness enterprises at the cost of growing hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Argentina, the world's fourth largest exporter of food, faces an unprecedented socio-economic crisis. As the vast, fertile country continues to increase exports of meat, wheat, corn and soya, a catastrophe has hit the underprivileged in the countryside. Hunger multiplies and images of stunted, emaciated children scandalise Argentines, whose country was long known as the grain store of the world.

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Himal Southasian