Who Will Feed China?: Wake-up Call for a Small Planet

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - Nature - 163 pages
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To feed its 1.2 billion people, China may soon have to import so much grain that this action could trigger unprecedented rises in world food prices. In Who Will Feed China: Wake-up Call for a Small Planet, Lester Brown shows that even as water becomes more scarce in a land where 80 percent of the grain crop is irrigated, as per-acre yield gains are erased by the loss of cropland to industrialization, and as food production stagnates, China still increases its population by the equivalent of a new Beijing each year.
When Japan, a nation of just 125 million, began to import food, world grain markets rejoiced. But when China, a market ten times bigger, starts importing, there may not be enough grain in the world to meet that need - and food prices will rise steeply for everyone. Analysts foresaw that the recent four-year doubling of income for China's 1.2 billion consumers would increase food demand, especially for meat, eggs, and beer. But these analysts assumed that food production would rise to meet those demands.
  

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Who will feed China?: wake-up call for a small planet

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Brown, president of the Worldwatch Institute and recipient of numerous environmental awards, predicts that China's current breakneck industrialization will lead to massive world grain shortages early ... Read full review

Who will feed China?: wake-up call for a small planet

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Brown, president of the Worldwatch Institute and recipient of numerous environmental awards, predicts that China's current breakneck industrialization will lead to massive world grain shortages early ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
7
Foreword
13
The WakeUp Call
23
Another HalfBillion
35
Moving Up the Food Chain
44
The Shrinking Cropland Base
54
Entering a New Era
121
Priorities in an Era of Scarcity
131
Notes
143
Index
159
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

The son of farmers, Lester Brown was born in New Jersey in 1934 and attended Rutgers University, receiving a B.S. in agricultural science in 1955. He earned an M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland in 1959 and an M.P.A. from Harvard University in 1962. He worked as adviser on foreign agricultural policy for the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, served as administrator of the International Agricultural Development Service, and helped establish the Overseas Development Council. In 1974, Brown founded the Worldwatch Institute, a private, nonprofit, environmental think tank designed to act as a global early warning system and to study overpopulation, famine, and other world problems. Located in Washington, D.C., the institute publishes the Worldwatch Papers series, Worldwatch Magazine, and the annual State of the World report. Although sometimes criticized for his emphasis on population control, this author of more than a dozen books and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship has been highly praised for his understanding of the threats to the ecology of our planet.

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