G8 to boost funds for farming: report



LONDON - G8 leaders will this week commit more than 12 billion dollars (8.6 billion euros) over three years for agricultural development in the developing world, the Financial Times said Monday.
Citing United Nations and G8 officials, the newspaper said the US and Japan would provide most of the funding in a plan aimed at accelerating the shift from food aid to support for farming.



G8 to boost funds for farming: report
The rest of the money will come from Europe and Canada, Britain's leading financial newspaper said.
The Group of Eight industrialised nations will pledge to reverse "the tendency of decreasing official development aid and national financing to agriculture", according to a draft declaration seen by the FT.
"The combined effect of long-standing underinvestment in agriculture and food security, price trends and the economic crisis have led to increased hunger," the draft reportedly states.
"Food security is closely connected with economic growth and social progress as well as with political stability."
If the plan is confirmed "it will be an excellent initiative", said Jacques Diouf, head of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
"It meets the demands we have been making for more than 10 years, that the emphasis should be placed on agricultural production in poor countries with the greatest number of malnourished people and where the population is growing fastest."
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi referred last week to a "gesture" by US President Barack Obama to combat starvation which would be worth four billion dollars, but gave no further details.
Earlier Monday, he urged the G8 to help "the poorest countries, like those in Africa, hit hard by the financial crisis."
In 2008, a surge in prices of some staple foods triggered riots in many countries as starving protesters took to the streets.
The G8, comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, gathers in the Italian earthquake-hit city of L'Aquila from Wednesday until Friday.
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Monday, July 6th 2009
AFP
           


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