Author Topic: WORLD BANK UNFOLDS PLAN TO CURTAIL FOOD CRISIS  (Read 1214 times)

Offline furtune

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WORLD BANK UNFOLDS PLAN TO CURTAIL FOOD CRISIS
« on: June 06, 2008, 04:10:34 PM »


The World Bank has unveiled a 10-point plan aimed at mitigating the effect of rising food prices.
The President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, while presenting the plan at a global food summit in Rome that ended on Thursday, called on policy makers to fund fully, the World Food Programme?s emergency needs; support its drive to purchase food aid locally; and ensure the unhampered movement of humanitarian assistance.

Zoellick, in a presentation which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, said the second point on the plan was the need to create support for safety nets, such as distributing food in schools or offering food in return for work, in order to quickly help those in severe distress.

?The World Bank, working with the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, has already made rapid needs assessments for more than 25 countries,? he said.

Zoellick said the third plan on the map was the need to provide seeds and fertiliser for the planting season, especially for smallholders in poor countries.

?Together, the FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, regional development banks and the World Bank can expand this effort by working with civil society groups and bilateral donors. The key is not just financing, but fast delivery systems,? he said.

According to him, there is the need to boost agricultural supply and increase research spending, reversing years of agricultural underinvestment.

?We must be neither Luddite nor advocates of a single scientific fix. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research has been receiving about $450m a year. We should double this investment in research and development over the next five years,? he explained.

Other proposals on the road map include the need for more investments in agribusiness to tap the private sector?s ability to work across the value chain; develop sustainable lands and water supply chains; cut wastage; provide infrastructure and logistics; help developing country producers meet food safety standards; connect retailers with farmers in developing countries; and support agricultural trade finance.

He also said policy makers must develop innovative instruments for risk management and crop insurance for small farmers.

On subsidies offered by developed nations to farmers and the rush for biofuels, Zoellick said ?Policymakers should also consider ?safety valves? that ease these policies when prices are high.

?The choice does not have to be food or fuel. Cutting tariffs on ethanol imported into the United States and European Union markets would encourage the output of more efficient sugarcane biofuels that do not compete directly with food production and expand opportunities for poorer countries, including in Africa. We need to find ways to advance to second-generation cellulosic products.?

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WORLD BANK UNFOLDS PLAN TO CURTAIL FOOD CRISIS
« on: June 06, 2008, 04:10:34 PM »

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