Thought for food

Published: Tuesday 31 March 1998

only biological breakthroughs would be able to help meet adequate food supplies in the next century, according to Jeff McNeely, chief scientist at the iucn, the World Conservation Union. Speaking at the inauguration of the South and south-east Asia regional workshop on access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge, he said that this would be possible only if globally there is action to save, study and use the biological and genetic diversity available.

Since the 1960s, the availability of food per person at global level had increased by 25 per cent. The prices had also come down in real terms.

The scientist, however, said that in the early part of the 1970s, the food prices showed a sharp increase. This period coincided with the years of the oil crisis. "The relationship between food prices and oil prices is very close," he observed.

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