There is a need to break down monopolies and introduce windfall taxes in the world’s food system to fight hunger, said chief of aid organization Oxfam International.
Speaking at a panel on food crisis and threat of global destabilization at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) 2022 in New York, Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher said on Tuesday that the whole food system is shaped in such a way that is very fragile and it’s a very unequal system.
“The whole system is rigged in a way that benefits the 1 percent and those very large food corporations” with four large corporations controlling 70 percent of the world’s food market, Bucher said.
She noted that 62 new “food billionaires” were created during the COVID-19 pandemic while smallholder farmers themselves were suffering hunger due to lack of fertilizer and the effects of climate change.
A key element to look for longer-term solutions is to address the whole system “in terms of breaking down monopolies and also introducing windfall taxes, especially in the food system,” according to Bucher.
If the excessive profits accumulated in the food system during the pandemic are addressed, there will be resources to invest and ensure that smallholder farmers have the required resources to have sustainable livelihoods, said Bucher.
In the long term, wealth taxation is one of the ways in which resources can be mobilized and efforts should be made to ensure smallholder farmers have regular resources, according to Bucher.
Bucher said the fight against hunger is very inextricably linked to the fight against inequality and there was already a long-term trend showing an increase in hunger before the pandemic.
Headquartered in Nairobi of Kenya, Oxfam International is a global organization that fights inequality to end poverty and injustice.