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G8 Report Says Food Crisis May Threaten Stability

Global food production needs to double by 2050 to avert the risk of scarcity and high prices hurting international stability, says a policy document for a G8 meeting on agriculture, the Financial Times reported April 7.

“Without immediate interventions in agriculture and agrimarketing systems, the 2007 crisis will become structural in only a few decades,” the paper quoted the document as saying.

It said the document was drafted by the G8’s Italian presidency ahead of a meeting in Treviso later this month.

The G8 will include agriculture leaders from the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Russia.

Last year the G8 industrial nations met in Japan against the backdrop of spiralling food costs around the world.

The G8 document says a further food crisis will have “serious consequences not merely on business relations but equally on social and international relations, which in turn will impact directly on the security and stability of world politics.”

That meeting was prompted by last year’s price surges which triggered riots and social unrest across a number of countries. “The issue of price volatility remains a crucial element for world food security,” the report said.

“There is a need for a fast increase in agricultural production in developing countries.”

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