Thursday, September 25, 2008

FAO: Increase Farm Production to End Food Crisis

Increased agricultural production is the way out of the global food crisis. This was underscored by Food and Agriculture Organization Director General Jacques Diouf during a joint hearing on the impact of higher food prices on food security by the Foreign and Agricultural Committees of Italy's Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

FAO is working with the G8, an international forum representing member countries, and the international community to set-up a Global Partnership on Food and Agriculture. It already made preliminary contact with Italian authorities on creating a world network of food and agriculture experts in order to assess future needs and risks. "We are facing a challenge of enormous proportions," Diouf said. With Italy as President of the G8 in 2009, Italy is expected to bear "a historic responsibility".

Diouf said that the FAO's Food Price Index increased by 12 percent between 2005 and 2006, by 24 percent in 2007 and by some 50 percent up to July 2008. He added that the world's poorest countries would be at continued risk as prices were likely to stay high for several years. Prior to price increases in 2007-2008, there were 850 million malnourished people in the world. The figure increased by 75 million immediately after.

View the FAO press release at http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000922/index.html

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