FAO Food Report

By George Grow

This is Bill White with the VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has released a report about the increase in world agriculture during the next thirty years. The report says people around the world will generally be better fed than the world population today.

However, the report says the number of hungry people will remain high. FAO officials say about five-hundred-eighty-million people may still be suffering from a lack of food fifteen years from now.

The world population is expected to increase to about eight-thousand-million people by Twenty-Thirty. Experts say they expect the rate of population growth to rise slowly during this period. They also expect the amount of food eaten to be higher in an increasing number of countries.

The new report says the world's most important food supplies will remain cereal products from grains. World production of cereals is expected to increase by almost one-thousand-million tons by Twenty-Thirty. About half of the increase will be used for food for people. About forty-four percent will be used for animal feed.

FAO officials say developing countries will depend increasingly on cereal imports. Their imports are expected to rise from about one-hundred-million tons to two-hundred-seventy-million tons in Twenty-Thirty. The report says traditional exporting countries would need to increase their agricultural exports almost one-hundred percent during this period.

The UN agency says crop production in developing countries in thirty years is expected to be seventy percent higher. About eighty percent of this increase would come from planting more productive crops. The rest would come from increasing the amount of land used for farming.

FAO officials expect the amount of land used for agriculture in developing countries to increase by twelve percent. Most of the increase is expected in South America and African countries south of the Sahara Desert.

The report says pressure on the environment will continue to increase, but at a lower rate than in recent years. It says the overuse of chemicals to kill insects will decrease because of improved technologies.

This VOA Special English AGRICULTURE REPORT was written by George Grow. This is Bill White.

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