Farm Bill Fights Hunger

The 2012 Farm Bill, in addition to setting broad agricultural policy for the next five years, will address global hunger and will organize a unified federal response to international food insecurity.

Food insecurity is becoming an increasingly serious problem worldwide. According to United Nations reports, the global population is expected to increase to more than 9 billion over the next 40 years. Without major agricultural reforms, it is unlikely that food production will be able to account for the population increase.

The U.S. government has been a major contributor to the war on hunger, spending billions of dollars in foreign aid across the developing world. In addition to supporting agricultural reform programs, significant portions of the 2008 Farm Bill attempted to address global hunger and malnutrition.

The 2012 Farm Bill, currently being debated in the Senate, expands on many of these nutritional aid programs, focusing more heavily on vulnerable individuals, such as pregnant mothers and young children, making sure that they receive proper nutrients. In addition, the bill connects emergency programs with long-term developmental aid programs, helping to avoid recurring food crises and fostering greater efficiency within various aid programs.

Foreign food aid programs, in addition to meeting important humanitarian needs, also help promote U.S. interests by increasing political stability. Over the past few years, several food crises led to political instability and revolt (the most famous examples being the recent revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt).

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer