It was humbling. Most of them had big farm crises. Problems could have been taken from pages of the recent Curry report: declining prices, farmers leaving the land, trade uncertainties, worries about standards, concerns about GM foods, lifestyle change, inappropriate diets, obesity, ill-health costs. But this is food delivery at the sharp end. One country, the Seychelles, is acutely vulnerable to sea rises from climate change. Like us, they have to decide whether solutions lie in high technology, such as solar-powered coolers to reduce heat in greenhouses, or in sustainable agriculture. Other problems were less familiar. Some countries were war zones and here there were marvellous people struggling to do their best in appalling conditions. A Liberian said to me: "What can I do when my country is under an economic embargo from the West? The suffering of the people for the leaders is terrible." I had nothing to say. This was absolute, not relative, poverty. Food at war. We had a presentation on how to monitor food insecurity. Somalia was our case study. They could identify when and where shortages might break out or prices rocket and who'd be hurt. Such sophisticated food monitoring was implementing a commitment made by all world governments in 1992 to map food poverty. The then UK government refused, saying the country had no food insecurity. We might not have rank starvation like Africa, but we have millions eating poorly due to lack of money and bad access, and a wide health gap. If Somalia can audit its food insecurity, why is it such a political battle to get our rich country to do so here? {{NEWS }}