Dwindling food stocks and rising food prices raise questions about who produces our food and how.

Urbanization, climate change, changing diets in emerging economies and the impact of supermarkets are putting new pressures on the land and changing the face of farming.

One solution is to support the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries. Yet just when they’re needed most, many smallholder farmers are finding it difficult to make a living and are leaving the land.

Should food be treated as a global commodity? Is industrial scale farming the best way to meet global demand and protect the environment? Or could and should more be done globally to protect small independent farmers and the food they produce?

On 29 March 2008 six international panellists considered some of the most important issues effecting the future of global food production in the BBC World debate “Food – Who Pays the Price?”. 

Staged in Rome to mark IFAD’s 30th Anniversary.

Produced by TVE for BBC World in cooperation with IFAD.
E-mail us your thoughts on this important issue after the debate.

Watch the debate:


List of participants

Gary Howe
IFAD’s Director of Strategic Planning, Budget and Resource Management

Sarath Fernando
A smallholder and farmer leader from Sri Lanka

Dr Raj Patel
Political Economist and author of "Stuffed & Starving"

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Managing Director of the World Bank

Jan-Kees Vis
Director, Sustainable Agriculture for Unilever

Sean Rickard, Business Economist and Academic Advisor


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