UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

According to an article in the Observer newspaper on 14 October, the United Nations gave a stern warning this week about the state of the world’s food and water supplies, stating that any weather issues in countries providing food to the rest of the world in the next year could cause a global hunger crisis.

With the reduction of global grain reserves, food prices continue to rise and are causing unrest, particularly in poorer countries. Falling harvests in the Ukraine and the US have meant the reserves have been depleted to a level we haven’t experienced since 1974.

As prices approach the levels that sparked food riots in 2008, Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington, has issued a similar warning that the global food supply system could collapse at any point. He also went on to say “the climate is no longer reliable” and a breakdown is “inevitable”.

“Food shortages undermined earlier civilisations. We are on the same path. Each country is now fending for itself. The world is living one year to the next,” he writes in a new book.

With our background in food production in places like Africa and the Caribbean, we are more optimistic, particularly as the farmers we work with are only currently using about 10% of cultivatable land. And we plan to do our best to help avert such a catastrophe.

You can read the full article on the Observer’s website

New Contract Marks Beginning of Excellent Relationship with Ugandan Farming Society

Landrich Trading Co Limited and Uganda’s Kyoga Farming Society Ltd, (KFS), have signed a 25-year contract for producing commodities for export to the world.

Kyoga Farming Society Ltd is a group of land owners from the Lake Kyoga region of Eastern Uganda. Kyoga have been subsistence farmers for generations and now, through Landrich, have come together to grow food crops to order for export around the world.

Landrich, through its farmers, can meet orders on a quantum level subject to a bespoke contract. We grow the following: cassava, cocoa, coffee, corn, maize, millet, rice, sesame seed, sorghum, soya bean and sunflower. We have a total of 2,000 farms with a capacity of 10,000 farmers at our disposal.

Landrich is now accepting worldwide orders and contracts for bespoke crops to meet clients’ requirements and budget.

Landrich CEO Lanny Smikle said, “We’re very happy to be working with Kyoga, and hope to make a major impact where food is concerned. We can help them sell their crops and add value to their wellbeing and day-to-day environment, vastly improving their living and working conditions at the same time.”

Sorghum good for beer

A popular foundation for brewing in Africa, sorghum is a versatile crop and has begun making inroads in the western world, with a number of beers being marketed as ‘gluten-free’ for drinkers who cannot tolerate gluten.

One of the top cereal crops in the world, sorghum has a number of uses both as a food item and in other areas like bio fuel, animal feed, dyes and as an alternative to wood. But a use, which has been largely unknown outside of the Far East and Africa, is its use as a basic ingredient for alcoholic beverages. As large scale brewing with barley is costly in these regions compared to sorghum, it makes a reasonable alternative for brewing.

It has a number of names, burukuto in Nigeria, pombe in East Africa, bil-bil in Cameroon, bjala in the North Sotho region – it’s even used to make a local version of Guinness in South Africa! In China it’s used to make distilled spirits called, amongst others, kaoliang and maotai.

All that’s changing, though, as a number of western brewers are using sorghum now to make beers such as:

So, with a regular crop of sorghum being grown twice a year in central Africa, this could be the next big thing for brewers, particularly as there are an estimated 3-4 million people with celiac or celiac disease in the US alone.

If you’re interested in learning more about sorghum, contact us today.