More land be brought under cultivation to increase production

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Hyderabad, May 30 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Food and Agriculture Council Director General M J Khan today underlined the need to bring more land under cultivation for increasing agricultural production to ensure food security in the future.

Releasing a report on 'Global Food Crisis and Indian Poor', brought out by the Council, he said even though India was a world renowned producer and net exporter of foodgrains, the country was in no way less affected by global food crisis.

A 2006 report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, estimated that 12 per cent of the world's 6.6 million people were living in hunger. Out of that, 26 per cent or 212 million lived in India. It was estimated that 25 per cent of India's population lived below the poverty line.

The report said more than 800 million of India's 1.1 billion poeple lived on less than 2 US dollars per day, a pittance in the wake of the jump in food prices, he said.

Rising global food prices were contributing to high food inflation in many countries. The pass-through of rising global prices did not translate into an immediate and proportionate rise in domestic price levels due to various factors such as a weakening dollar, domestic infrastructure and price stabilisation policies, the report added.

The report said the price rise had, in fact, destabilised the rhythm of Indian life, with every class feeling the pinch of rise in food prices. While some households benefit from higher prices, others were hurt by them, depending on whether they were net producers or consumers of the food staple and the extent to which wages were adjusted to higher food price inflation.

Citing the increase in population in countries like India and China as one of the main reasons behind the food crisis, the report said the population growth was not accompanied by an increase in resources.

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