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Experts discuss Asian food security

With 60 per cent of rural Asians living in poverty, hundreds of experts have stressed the importance of increasing food production in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner in Asia, calling for a 'doubly green revolution'. Leading policymakers and experts in the fields of economics, food policy, agricultural research, agribusiness and development met at the International Conference on Asian Food Security in Singapore from 10-12th August to discuss the food security challenges facing the region and determine policy recommendations and investment priorities.

With estimates that rice yields in Asia are expected to fall between 17-20 per cent by 2050 due to rising temperatures, the Singapore government has announced new funding of US$8.2 million for research into new rice varieties. "Asia's farmers are small-scale entrepreneurs in the making," says Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director of CropLife Asia and a Farming First spokesperson. "If they are equipped and supported to adapt to meet the world's food demands, they can boost their own livelihoods while driving broader economic development."

The three-day conference also covered topics such as sustainable growth in agricultural production, resilient food supply chains, the impacts of trade policies, and humanitarian food aid strategies. "With significant new challenges from the impact of an increasing population, climate change and water scarcity, the time to act is now," Dr Tan notes.

Written by: Farming First

Date published: August 2011

 

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