United Nations officials today called for concerted efforts to ensure the world's fast-growing population has enough food, stressing that global food production will have to double by 2050 when the planet is expected to host an additional one billion inhabitants.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that guaranteeing sustainable food and nutrition security for all will require the full engagement of governments and the private sector.
“It means pursuing comprehensive approaches – assisting the most vulnerable, listening to rural women, empowering small producers,” Mr. Ban said during an event in New York to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the observance of World Food Day, which is marked on 16 October every year.
“It means strong political commitment, predictable finance, and a focus on results. We have the resources and the knowledge to end hunger. We know how to protect the poorest from the impact of rising prices.”
The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, noted that targeted safety nets and social programmes are essential for alleviating hunger and poverty in the short term, but a strong foundation for development must be laid to ensure sustainable food security.
“Granting market access for agricultural products from developing countries will help in this respect,” said Mr. Al-Nasser. “Small and medium-sized farmers should be supported through increased resource allocation in rural infrastructure and agricultural services.
“Over the longer-term, a food-security strategy that relies on a combination of boosting local production and productivity and a general increased role for trade will help to reduce price volatility, while improving food availability and accessibility,” he added.
Mr. Ban said he was encouraged by the renewed political interest in food security, including the prominence that is being given to the issue by the Group of 20 (G-20) of the world's largest economies.