World must double food production by 2050: FAO chief

Published on 26 January 2009

Global food production, already under strain from the credit crunch, must double by 2050 to head off mass hunger, the head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Monday. The food crisis pushed another 40 million people into hunger in 2008, Jacques Diouf said here at the start of a two-day international conference on food security. That brought the global number of undernourished people to 973 million last year out of a total population of around 6.5 billion, he said. [...] Ireland's Minister for Overseas Development Aid, Peter Power, said the hunger crisis had not been given the same level of attention as the fight against AIDS, the global financial crisis or climate change. "This silent tsunami is completely unacceptable," he said to applause from delegates. But Josette Shearan, the head of the UN World Food Program, the world's largest humanitarian agency, warned the world will only be able to produce enough food for everyone in 2050 if food security is made a top priority. "If we have to produce twice as much food and we are already in a situation where one out of every six people can't get access to adequate food, this compels us to put it at the top of the agenda," she said.

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Agence France Presse (AFP)