Food prices reached an unprecedented peak in 2008 and are on the rise again. This is undoubtedly a sign of increasing food insecurity on the planet. There are different, interconnected underlying reasons and economic triggers to the phenomena. The constantly growing world population, increasing consumer demand in newly industrialized countries, as well as soil degradation and depleting irrigation water resources are facts that cannot be disregarded.
In the future, micro schemes in food production will have to be revived and modified to complement the food trade system. Subsistence farming is not only sensible in rural, but also in urban regions: www.urbanfarmers.ch. Also recommended is a niche production of agricultural specialties in high salary countries for local markets as well as for export.
It is a fact that free trade of primary products is of existential importance for global food provision, industrial production, and ultimately for stability and peace. Therefore, ANTHILLS primarily pays attention to homogenous and classifiable regenerating products, which can be stored, traded and transported inexpensively in large quantities with a justifiable carbon footprint: cereals, pulses, edible oils, milk powder, fish, meat, timber, and cotton. Relatively few major surplus producers provide a large number of import-dependent countries with these bulk commodities. Producers, consumers, and the planet could equally benefit from economic and ecological ‘comparative advantages’. However, today’s markets are distorted by speculation, protectionist measures, and the lack of international production and conservation standards – all to the disadvantage of consumers with poor purchase power, small scale producers and the ecosystem.
The wellbeing of farm animals up to their slaughtering is given highest attention by ANTHILLS – because of both ethical and long-term commercial considerations in view of evident paradigm shifts particularly in Western societies.
On the workbench
- The pilot project CARPE CARPAM by ANTHILLS promotes carp production in modified pond systems as part of crop rotation and in combination with catfish farming in moderate climate zones along with new marketing strategies. This project presents an alternative that can contribute to a solution to the overfishing of the oceans, to fish consumption simultaneously increasing worldwide, and to those piscicultures depending on excessive application of antibiotics, bycatch for feeds and energy for water recycling.
On the drawing board
- Pre-feasibility study: Solar desalination of ocean water for irrigation of arid coastlines.
- Pre-feasibility study: Label for animal friendly and ecological export-orientated cattle farming in Argentina and/or Uruguay.
- Analysis: Market potential of internationally tradable forest use rights in New Zealand.