Columbia economist offers new way to compute prizes for agriculture research
After many decades of economic growth, the single most important cause of human mortality remains malnutrition. The World Health Organization estimates that food deficits cause about 6 million deaths per year, or 14 percent of the total. Surprisingly, most people who die from hunger are actually farmers – not by choice, but by necessity. They are born in rural areas, and have no other resources with which to earn a living. When a farm familys production falls short of their own food needs, they fall into a downward spiral of malnutrition, ill-health, and even lower production.
In the November issue of AgBioForum, William Masters, director of the Earth Institutes Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development, proposes a new way of fighting hunger: by giving cash prizes to innovators who develop sustainable techniques that the worlds poor can use to feed themselves.
Mary Tobin | EurekAlert!
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