EUROPEAN farmers and their co-operatives called on world leaders in Rome yesterday to promote food security through market stability and prices that enable them to make a living.
Heads of state and government ministers are in the Italian capital for a summit of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Leaders attending the three-day conference will discuss the current global food situation with soaring food prices; how climate change affects agriculture, and how agriculture can contribute to reducing it.
Pekka Pesonen, secretary general, COPA-COGECA, the bodies representing European farmers and their co-ops, said the EU has been blamed in the past for lowering world prices and causing poverty in developing countries, particularly through its export refunds.
“Now that almost all export refunds are gone the same critics say that higher prices cause poverty and hunger. They should consider that over half of the 860 million hungry in the world are farmers,” he said.
Mr Pessoa said the best way to ensure the world has enough to eat is to give farmers an incentive to produce and invest.
Developing countries must be able to build their own food security, through fairer prices he argues.
“Policy makers in Europe, too, must again make food security and their key objective,” he said.
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