World Bank `Destroyed Basic Grains' in Honduras, Fueling Hunger - Bloomberg

Fidencio Alvarez abandoned his bean and corn farm in southern Honduras because of the rising cost of seeds, fuel and food. After months of one meal a day, he hiked with his wife and six children to find work in the city.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

``We would wake up with empty stomachs and go to bed with empty stomachs,'' said Alvarez, 37, who sought help from the Mission Lazarus aid group in Choluteca in January. ``We couldn't afford the seeds to plant food or the bus fare to buy the food.''

Honduran farmers like Alvarez can't compete in a global marketplace where the costs of fuel and fertilizer soared and rice prices doubled in the past year. The former breadbasket of Central America now imports 83 percent of the rice it consumes - -a dependency triggered almost two decades ago when it adopted free-market policies pushed by the World Bank and other lenders.

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FAO gives Nicaraguan farmers a US$100 million boost

May 2008

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is donating US$100 million to boost Nicaragua's recently commenced crop cycle.

FAO representative Armando Cerrato said the bulk of the money would be used to help small farmers to buy seeds for their rice and corn crops. Seed prices have surged as demand led by China and India contributes to a growing world food crisis.

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