12:00 AM, December 07, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 07, 2012

Global food production to slow: UN

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Afp, Rome

Global food production will slow over the coming decade following an exceptional but unsustainable rate of growth in developing countries, with more investment needed in the sector, the UN's food agency said yesterday.
"The average annual growth in global agricultural production through 2021 will slow to 1.7 percent, down from the 2.6 percent of the previous decade," the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in its yearly report.
"Agriculture in many countries has grown at a pace that cannot be sustained," it said, adding that production shot up by over 50 percent over the last 12 years in Latin America as a whole and by 70 percent in Brazil alone.
Production had also increased by over 40 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa, eastern Europe and central Asia, and by 20 percent in the United States and western Europe, the Rome-based agency said.
According to the report, most of the best land is already being used globally for agriculture, and what is left is either in remote locations inaccessible without infrastructure development or is wanted for urban use.
Furthermore, the existing land is under threat from creeping degradation.
"Approximately 25 percent of the world's agricultural land area is highly degraded. These pressures have reached critical levels in some areas, and climate change is expected to worsen the situation," the report said.

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