During the last 25 years, world agriculture successfully expanded food production faster than population growth. This can continue for the next 25 years and beyond it appropriate action is taken. Although world food stocks are currently low and grain price high, the world is not about to run out of food. We can produce enough food for future generations if we choose to do so.
The widespread food insecurity, unhealthy living conditions, and abject and absolute poverty in many developing countries are already threatening global stability. Failure to assure sustainable food security will foster the very conditions that will further destabilize and polarize the world in the years to come with tremendous consequences for all people.
The basic facts:
Poverty is widespread in developing countries with over 1.1 billion people living on a dollar a day or less per person. Human resource development in developing countries is lagging : 1 billion people lack access to health service, 1.3 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation systems , and one third of primary school enrolls drop out by grade 4. Natural resources, upon which future food production depends, are being degraded at alarming rates: almost 2 billion hectares of land have been degraded in the past 50 years: about 180 million hectares of forests have been converted to other uses during the 1980s, marine fisheries are collapsing around the world and seasonal water shortage afflict many developing countries. Improved appropriate technology is essential is to increase productivity. Yet low-income food deficit developing countries are grossly under investing in agricultural research and many are reducing their support.
|Water requirement for food production|
It calls for sustained action in six priority areas. First, we must selectively strengthen the capacity of developing country governments to perform appropriate function such as establishing or clarifying property right’s promoting private-sector competition in agricultural markets and maintaining appropriate macro economic environments. Predictability, transparency and continuity in policy making and enforcement must be pursued.