Youth summit studies global food security

In an age of financial turmoil and volatile food prices, Meahgan Sweet has discovered that Canada is in a sweet spot.

“We’re in a good, solid position,” said the University of Saskatchewan marketing student, who recently took part in the Y20 international youth gathering in Mexico.

Sweet, 21, was one of seven young Canadians, and the only westerner, to attend the summit, which gives bright young people a chance to identify crucial issues for the world’s leaders at the June G20 summit.

While Western Canada is economically booming, much of the planet is under great economic stress.

Sweet took on the task of considering Canada’s impact on food security. It’s an issue of crucial importance to many countries because the world population is burgeoning and food prices are high and unpredictable.

Sweet, whose parents farm near Rosetown, Sask., said she thinks Canada’s greatest contribution to food security in developing countries is through extending agricultural expertise and experience.

“They have the land, they just don’t have the education,” said Sweet.

“They often don’t know they’re depleting their soils of minerals, causing erosion and topsoil loss.”

Underlying the summit was anxiety over the continuing financial problems in Europe. The crisis may be within the eurozone countries, but restrictions on capital is affecting every part of the world. Developing nations don’t want to be hamstrung by problems they have no part in, Sweet said.

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