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More investment in agriculture needed: ADB

07-07-2010 14:37 BJT Special Report:

MANILA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Philippine-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) is encouraging developing economies in Asia and Pacific to boost their investment in the agriculture sector to address the widespread hunger and cushion billions of people from future spikes in food prices.

Highlighting the urgency of increase funding in the industry, the multilateral lender and its partners on Wednesday said that the developing countries need to double the food production by 2050 in order to feed the growing population.

"A production increase of this magnitude will require the developing world alone to invest over 200 billion U.S. dollars per year in agriculture till 2050, of which almost 120 billion U.S. dollars would have to be invested in the Asia-Pacific region alone, " Director-General Dr. Jacques Diouf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said at the two-day Investment Forum for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific.

Raising agricultural productivity can be done by improving crop management, expanding the use of modern varieties, strengthening rural infrastructure and improving post-harvest technologies, Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), meanwhile said.

Adequate funding for research and development must also be provided, he added.

"Achieving food security at regional, national and household levels has long been a struggle for the region, even during the best of economic times," ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said in his speech.

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