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People Will Be Better Fed By 2003

July 25, 2000

ROME (AP) _ People around the world will be better fed by 2030 as food production outpaces population growth, but widespread hunger will persist, a U.N. food agency said Monday.

In a study, the Rome-based Food and Agricultural Organization said cereals will remain the world’s staple food.

Cereal production _ half of which is for human consumption _ is projected to increase by almost one billion tons by 2030 from the current level of 1.84 billion tons.

Crop production in developing countries is expected to be 70 percent higher in 2030, thanks in part to higher yields per acre as well as the availability of more arable land.

Despite these advances, as many as 580 million people will still be chronically undernourished 15 years from now and 400 million in 2030.

The FAO says the number now is around 800 million.

The study said agricultural production, which over the last two decades has grown annually by 2.1 percent, will slow to 1.6 percent between now and 2015 and then to 1.3 percent by 2030.

But food supplies will still outstrip population growth, which is estimated to increase annually by 1.2 percent up to 2015, then drop 0.8 percent in the subsequent 15 years, FAO said.

The FAO also warned that increased agriculture and livestock production in developing countries could hurt the environment if deforestation, the use of pesticides and overgrazing are uncontrolled.

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On the Net:

The report is at: http:/www.fao.org/es/esd/gstudies.htm

The FAO is: http:/www.fao.org

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