Global farm ministers call for higher, diverse food production
A meeting of agriculture ministers from 69 countries on Saturday called for higher farm productivity coupled with cultivation of diverse crop types to help beat world hunger.
Global farming needs to maintain a balance between diversity and high output while avoiding monoculture of single crops, said a statement from Germany's Agriculture Ministry after the meeting in Berlin of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture.
The Berlin meeting called for genetic databanks to be set up to prevent the loss of traditional types of food crops as newly developed seeds replace old varieties.
German agriculture minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said improving food output volumes is not enough to conquer world hunger.
"Preserving agricultural diversity is not a luxury; it is a matter of survival," Friedrich said in a statement. "Plant varieties, once lost, cannot be recovered. We must therefore conserve our genetic resources worldwide on a permanent basis and make better use of them."
Malnutrition caused by an unbalanced diet is also a serious global problem, he said.
The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that there are still 840 million people suffering from hunger worldwide, Friedrich said.
But a further two billion people are seriously compromised in their development by malnutrition, he said.
- Farmland price outlook in 2014 and beyond
- Climate change to cut South Asia's growth 9% by 2100
- Tumbling livestock quotes led ag commodites lower Wednesday
- As risk of drought rises, Australian farmers struggle to invest
- Soybean aphids make an unusual appearance
- Livestock futures led most ag markets lower Wednesday morning
- Suspected Bt corn rootworm resistance in Pennsylvania
- No El Niño in 2014? Drought-weary California in trouble
- BioNitrogen to build second fertilizer plant in Texas
- Commentary: Setting the record straight on 'Waters of the U.S.'
- Soybean aphid numbers on the rise
- Agricultural associations respond to government shutdown