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Food security: Christopher Delgado reveals inconvenient truths surrounding food production & consumption

April 24, 2012 - Food & Agriculture

Christopher Delgado, Strategy and Policy Adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development at the World Bank, met with Rose O’Donovan – editor of Agra Facts / Agra Focus – to discuss food security at the 5th Forum for the Future of Agriculture, jointly organized by Syngenta and the European Landowners’ Organization.

When it comes to producing more food with less resources, in a way that is respectful for the environment, Delgado insists on first sketching out the inconvenient truths surrounding food production and consumption in today’s world. Such as the fact that global demand for basic foods such as cereals goes up every single year by about 2.5% & high food price volatility is here to stay. At the same stage, over the last 30 years, there has been a decline in efforts to invest in agriculture – especially when it concerns developing countries.

The agriculture and rural development expert stresses the importance of transparency with regard to worldwide food supplies. He welcomes the establishment of the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) instrument, which was introduced by G20 Agriculture Ministers last autumn. The independent platform comprises 28 countries, which in total represent 90% of global food production and consumption. This system makes “the amount of food they have and where consumption is going” more transparent, says Delgado.

The World Bank’s Strategy and Policy Advisor points out that the 500 million small holder farms around the world have a vital role to play in the process of increasing global food production. Regarding price peaks, more attention should be paid to the fragile situation in developing countries where a high proportion of people’s income is spent on basic food needs. If prices of basic food commodities double – as we saw during recent price peaks – the only option for these people is to reduce their food consumption.

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