The Food and Agriculture Organization, ( fao) a body of the UN, has remarked that unless water-short farmers in Asia resort to 'second generation' techniques, the shortage in world food reserves may not be breached. These measures include irrigation techniques like water harvesting and inland valley swamps. In a study, to be presented at the World Food Summit in November, FAO remarks that "Water shortage has become a critical development constraint". Its Asian regional representative, A Z M Obaidullah Khan said that "Asia is showing signs of a worsening shortage in freshwater availability", with rivers shrinking and other water bodies polluted.
In a related issue, FAO has predicted that in 1996 the global cereal trade will be less by eight million tonnes (t), to total of around 193 million t. The shortfall seems to be due to a reduced shipment of wheat and coarse grains to those regions which are the world's major exporters. This will be offset by an increase in domestic wheat production.