UN Chief Urges 50% Boost in Food Production

Ban warns of further riots, starvation if high prices aren't contained
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 3, 2008 7:23 AM CDT
In this May 7, 2008 file picture, a Cambodian man carries rice at a paddy rice farm in Bekpeang village, Kampong Cham province, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.    (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – UN chief Ban Ki-Moon today called for a 50% rise in world food production by 2030 to fight starvation and civil unrest as the population grows. He spoke at the World Food Security conference in Rome, where world leaders are working to address the highest commodity prices in decades. Such high prices have prompted global riots. “The threats are obvious to us all,” Ban said.

"Beggar-thy-neighbor food policies cannot work,'' he added. "They only distort markets and force prices even higher.'' Farm aid has been declining for two decades, Bloomberg reports; last year, despite surging food prices, aid from donors such as the US, the European Union, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada dropped 8.4%.