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UN Calls for Food Production Increase

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The world will need to increase food production by 70% over the next 40 years to feed the world's growing population, the United Nations food agency predicts.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation says 370 million people could face famine by 2050 if more land is not used for food production. The FAO said net investments of $83 billion a year - an increase of 50% - need to be made in agriculture in developing countries if there is to be enough food by 2050. Expanding food production must begin now since the effects of climate change, including floods and droughts, are expected to affect growing patterns.

The world population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion from the current 6.7 billion by mid-century.

"The combined effect of population growth, strong income growth and urbanisation... is expected to result in almost the doubling of demand for food, feed and fibre," FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told the BBC and delegates at a forum entitled "How to Feed the World 2050."