This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
United Nations says forty million more people around the world went hungry this
year, mainly because of higher food prices. Early estimates from the U.N. Food
and Agriculture Organization show that nine hundred sixty-three million people
did not get enough to eat. That represents fourteen percent of the world
food prices have dropped since early this year. But F.A.O. official Hafez
Ghanem says lower prices have failed to end the food crisis in many poor
countries. "For millions in developing countries," he says, "eating
the minimum amount of food every day to live an active and healthy life is a
year's report on food insecurity warns that the current economic crisis could send
even more people into hunger and poverty.
of major cereal crops have decreased by more than half from their highs earlier
this year. But they remain high compared to earlier years.
Seed and fertilizer prices have more
than doubled since two thousand six. As a result, the F.A.O. says cereal
production in developing countries may increase just one percent this year. Developed
countries are likely to have gains of at least ten percent.
The agency says two-thirds of the world's
undernourished live in just seven countries. These are India, China, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
Africa, the percentage who continually go hungry fell from thirty-four percent
in nineteen ninety-seven to thirty percent in two thousand five. But the F.A.O.
says Ghana is the only country that has reached two sets of hunger reduction
targets. These were set by the nineteen ninety-six World Food Summit and the
Millennium Development Goals. The main reason is growth in agricultural
production in Ghana.
F.A.O. says some countries in Southeast Asia like Thailand and Vietnam have
made progress toward hunger reduction goals. But South Asia and Central Asia
have had setbacks.
A separate report predicts that a deficit in cereal
production will increase hunger in North Korea. About forty percent of North
Koreans are expected to need food aid in the coming year, even after a harvest
that was better than usual. Officials from the F.A.O. and the World Food
Program visited North Korea in October. They found that crops there will not
meet the needs of close to nine million people.
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. I'm Steve Ember.