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FAO sees need for doubling global food production

November 12, 2010

FAO sees need for doubling global food production

By ELLALYN B. DE VERA

July 9, 2010, 5:34pm

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) called on developing nations to double its budget for the agriculture sector to sufficiently provide for the needs of increasing populations.

During the “Investment Forum for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific” held last Wednesday at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Mandaluyong City, FAO director general Dr. Jacques Diouf said “food production will need to double in the developing world by 2050 in order to feed the growing population.”

“A production increase of such magnitude will require the developing world alone to invest over US$200 billion per year in agriculture until 2050, of which almost US$120 billion would have to be invested in the Asia-Pacific region alone,” he said.

Co-organized by ADB, FAO, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the forum aimed to identify barriers to achieving food security and explore a range of opportunities to overcome them.

Local non-government organization La Liga Policy Institute echoed the call of the UN for a substantial increase in the budget for the agriculture sector to boost the country’s food security.

La Liga sees the challenge for the Philippines to be food self-sufficient and agree that massive mobilization of investment in agriculture from both the government and the private sector is a necessary starting point.

Roland Cabigas, La Liga managing director and one of the conveners of Go Organic! Philippines, said that “it is equally important, however, to establish parameters that will encourage the appropriate types of investments to the agriculture sector.”

“More concretely, we would like to see a situation where more resources are poured into sustainable agriculture programs and projects. Not only are investments on sustainable agriculture relatively less capital intensive; it will also ensure the long-term productivity of our farms; and, at the same time help in addressing the risks related to climate change,” he said.

Investments should be poured to promote organic farming which will not only benefit farmers in terms of income, promote better health and safer environment for all, but will also “make farms self-sufficient and farmers self-supporting” in the long run, he said.

La Liga said government should allocate funds to promote organic farming through farmers’ training on organic farming systems and technologies, extension, and marketing support to boost food production.

Cabigas said that organic farming makes use of natural fertilizers and natural which the farmers themselves can produce from raw materials that can be easily sourced in their farms, instead of expensive chemical fertilizers.

“It is not only increasing investment that matters. It is investing in the right programs that matters most,” Cabigas said.

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/266096/fao-sees-need-doubling-global-food-production

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