Financial Times (ft.com) Monday April 20 2009
US urges food output boost to avert unrest
By Javier Blas in Cison di Valmarino, Italy
The US agriculture secretary has warned that unless countries take immediate steps to sharply boost agricultural productivity and food output and reduce hunger, the world risks fresh social instability. ...
"This is not just about food security, this is about national security, it is about environmental security," he said on the sidelines of the first meeting of the Group of Eight ministers of agriculture. ...
Last year's spike in food prices caused riots in about 30 countries, from Haiti to Bangladesh. Leading agricultural commodity exporters, including India and Argentina, imposed bans on overseas sales of food products. "I can figure out there are only three things that could happen if people do not have food: people could riot, that they have done; people migrate to places where there is food, which creates additional challenges; or people die," said Mr Vilsack.
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