background paper on rice scarcity here. Excerpt:
"The briefing note puts much of the blame for the current spike on hoarders and speculators. This is an interesting argument, and suggests that the current price has much to do with psychology and expectations—both of which could be managed by intelligent policy.
At root, however, the problem is that demand is outracing supply. The report names its culprits: stagnant agricultural R&D; little room for expansion of area in Asia; increases in Asian wealth (and consumption); the increasing popularity of rice in Africa; and extreme weather events.
The solution, according to the authors, is clear: increase productivity and production. Most especially, a Green Revolution in Africa is required.
This strikes me as good common sense. But if IRRI is right, and speculation and hoarding are aggravating the spike, something more fast-acting is required. I was disappointed not to see the brief pursue that angle."
IRRC's letter to the World Bank says that USAID proposed a cut to their funding of agricultural research. From the figures I have seen elsewhere (cannot recall the links) Asian governments or even BCCI can easily cover the proposed cuts.
See also Professor Madhukar Shukla's views here.
Professor Shukla suggests in a recent post that a considerable amount of what is produced goes to waste in the food chain. Perhaps one measure could be the reduction of this waste.
Chandan Sapkota has a series of posts on the food crisis at http://chandansapkota.blogspot.com/