FAO Calls for Significant Increase in Major Food Crops in 2011
Washington--In its latest Food Outlook report, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization warned the international community to prepare for harder times ahead unless production of major food crops increases significantly in 2011.
Food import bills for the world’s poorest countries are predicted to rise 11 percent in 2010 and by 20 percent for low-income food-deficit countries, according to the FAO report. “With the pressure on world prices of most commodities not abating, the international community must remain vigilant against further supply shocks in 2011 and be prepared,” the FAO said.
Contrary to earlier predictions, world cereal production is now forecast to contract by 2 percent rather than to expand by 1.2 percent as anticipated in June. Unexpected supply shortfalls due to unfavorable weather events were responsible for this change in direction, according to the report.
Global cereal stocks are forecast to decline sharply and FAO calls for cereal production to be stepped up to replenish inventories. World cereals stocks are anticipated to shrink by 7 percent, according to the FAO, with barley plunging 35 percent, maize 12 percent and wheat 10 percent.