Agriculture Conference Must Face the Causes of Today's Hunger
IPN Press release
Marc Sidwell +44 (0) 20 3393 8410; +44 (0) 7787348885
media [at] policynetwork.net
LONDON -- The world needs to feed nine billion people by 2050 so a new report for an international conference calls for 50% more investment – but the real problem is the obstacles created by governments.
“Right now one billion people go hungry every day even though we already produce more than enough food,” Caroline Boin, Project Director at the economics think-tank International Policy Network, said here today after the release of a report funded by the World Bank and the European Commission ahead of the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development starting this Sunday in Montpellier, France.
“Barriers to trade are four times higher in developing countries than in rich countries – and it is even worse for agriculture as African farmers pay 60% more in export taxes than other businesses. It is counterproductive and cruel for governments to push up the price of food amid widespread malnutrition,” Boin said.
The problem is not just barriers against the movement of food itself but barriers against technology that keep people hungry:
“Many governments in Africa have prevented the large-scale use of proven and available technologies such as hybrid seeds and drip irrigation. Though these techniques are making a big difference by increasing yields and lowering food prices in countries like Malawi, tariffs and other mistaken policies elsewhere have driven up their price and put them out of farmers’ reach,” Boin said.
Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) http://www.agropolis.org/gcard/gcard-2010.php
Agricultural report advises of need to change farming methods, Reuters, 25 March 2010 http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINLDE62N1XI20100325?pageNum...