ADB: Set up hunger alleviation fund to ensure food security for poor

Economic Times, May 4, 2012
MANILA: Concerned over the impact of rising prices of commodities on the poor, a report on food security released here today suggested a “hunger alleviation fund” by Asia and the Pacific nations to deal with the problem. 

The ‘Food Security and Poverty in Asia and the Pacific’ report, presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of Asian Development Bank (ADB) recommended, “the governments to set up a hunger alleviation fund, representing 1 per cent of a country’s gross domestic product, to be used when food prices grow beyond the reach of the poor”. 

“The planet is now home to seven billion people and rising. One of the key challenges for developing Asia will be ensuring food security in the face of competing rural demands, poor agricultural management, and climate change, while not compromising on equitable economic growth,” said Xianbin Yao, Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department. 

The report said the funds could be jointly managed with the private sector, with companies being encouraged to contribute, using incentives such as tax breaks. 

It also stressed upon the need for targeted subsidies for those who need it the most. 

It was also pointed out that reducing food waste and storage losses could close the gap between supply and demand by 15-25 per cent, and a second Green Revolution – one that relies on biotechnology to increase food production – is needed.


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