The cultivation of genetically modified plants increased globally in 2009 with the field area rising by nine million hectares over 2008 to a total of 134 million.
World Bank president Robert Zoellick expressed concern about the renewed speculation with agriculture commodities which in the last months have seen prices of food in developing countries soar
Experts from more than 75 FAO Member States agreed Friday that while there were no grounds for complacency, there was no indication of an impending world food crisis. They proposed exploring new measures to check food price volatility and manage associated risks.
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has cut its forecast for global wheat production in 2010-11, but by less than expected. USDA now predicts total output of 643 million tonnes for the current agricultural year, down from its August forecast of 645.7 million.
Despite a large rise in the two months to August, wheat prices remain well below levels reached during the boom in 2008 and market pricing indicates that the risks of further large price spikes have eased, says a report from the IMF.
Wheat climbed after Russia, the third-largest grower last year, extended a ban on exports into next year following a drought destroyed crops, tightening global supplies. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization called a special meeting to address the global grains situation.
Surging wheat prices drove international food prices up 5% last month in the biggest month-on-month increase since November 2009, FAO announced. The FAO Food Price Index (FPI) averaged 176 points in August, up nearly nine points from July, FAO said in its latest update on the global cereals supply and demand situation.
British scientists have released draft sequences of the wheat genome, which they think could make a vital contribution to securing global food supplies. The researchers say their efforts could help British farmers to develop new strains with greater yields.
Paraguay raised its 2010 economic growth forecast to 9% from 6% on an improved agricultural production outlook, the central bank said this week. This would be the Paraguayan economy largest annual expansion in almost three decades.
Russia has enough grain to cover its domestic needs after harvesting this year 38% less than the previous crop, a senior official said Monday. However markets believe Russia could be forced to import several million tons to ensure grain reserves until the following 2011 harvest