Published: Thursday 31 August 2000

The international community's goal to reduce half of the world's food availability problem by 2015 will not be achieved as per schedule, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

image"Progress towards meeting the 1996 World Food Summit's target has been so far very slow, and at the current pace the target would not be met by 2015," states a FAO report titled Agriculture: Towards 2015/30.

The situation will become worse as the population of developing countries increases from 4.42 billion in 1995-97 to 5.76 billion in 2015, and to 6.69 billion by 2030, the report adds. At present the undernourished population of 15 countries is less than 5 per cent, but it will rise to 26 per cent by 2015 and to 42 per cent by 2030.

Cereals, which account for half of the daily calorie intakes of most of the people in the South countries, will continue to remain the staple food. Worldwide production of foodstuff will increase by almost one billion tonnes by 2030. Half of it would be food for human consumption and the rest will be animal feed. Dependence of developing countries on cereal imports is expected to rise, with an increase from 107 million tonnes in 1995-97 to 270 million tonnes in 2030. The FAO believes that stronger political will is necessary to achieve faster progress.

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