Developing Countries Must Have Food Production Capacity To Avoid Food Price Crisis, U.S. Official Says

Factors that resulted in higher food prices in several countries in 2008, such as food scarcity and the use of land for biofuels, are still present and could cause prices to rise again without food production improvements in developing countries, Ertharin Cousin, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. food agencies in Rome, said in an interview with Reuters.

“I think what has changed is the that we don’t have the price spikes that resulted in the challenges, but the factors that created the price spikes are still there … we are in jeopardy of another crisis,” Cousin said. She said the U.S., EU and other donors must cooperate on plans to increase food security in economically weak countries. Cousin also discussed the Feed the Future initiative, which she said is the U.S. implementation of the G8 three-year, $22 billion food security initiative that world leaders agreed to in L’Aquila, Italy.

“These plans are country-led … We are not making the decisions from the United States about what is best for any particular country,” Cousin said of the U.S. program (Felix, 5/27).

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