Thought for food

Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

MORE than 100 representatives Of NGOS from 20 Asian and Pacific countries predicted a gloomy future for Asian food stocks, when they recently held a two- day meeting in Bangkok to draft a regional platform in preparation for the World Food Summit in November. As more Asian countries jump on to the bandwagon of rapid urban industrialisation, traditional agriculture and farming communities fall into neglect. This in turn would result in food shortage in the continent as well as in the whole world. The world has about 800 million malnourished people of which more than 500 million live in the Asia-Pacific region.

The declaration observed that the 1974 World Food Conference had promised to work towards a world without hunger. But today there were more hungry people, more poor farmers and agriculture was in a poorer state. Though global agricultural production is on par with the growing population, poor countries are denied their share of food. Global trade policies were proving detrimental toy poor Asian farmers who could not compete with low international prices.

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