Asia-Pacific region has most hungry people: FAO

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ISLAMABAD: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Monday that Asia-Pacific had highest number of hungry people and asked the countries in the region to increase food production and address malnutrition. The warning came as 40-member countries of the UN body met for a regional conference held in Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar to examine the state of food in Asia-Pacific.

The region needs to improve food production systems and delivery to consumers or face significant food security problems within the next generation. Some developing countries in the region will need to increase food production by up to 77 per cent by 2050, when the world’s population is expected to top nine billion, the organisation said.

While the region is making progress in reducing under-nutrition, it still has more than 550 million under-nourished people. The millennium development goal of reducing hunger by half by 2015 is on course to be met and has already been achieved in Southeastern Asia.

The region accounts for more than 90pc of the world’s rice production and consumption. Food security and people’s livelihoods are much dependent on rice. The FAO has produced a regional rice strategy.

Farming, fishing and forestry need to be modernised and made more profitable, while regional countries must take serious, coordinated steps to reduce food losses and waste, which is at 30 to 50pc regarding grains, fruits and vegetables.

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