UN Warns of Looming Wheat Crisis in Asia

Posted April 26th, 2012 at 1:05 pm (UTC-5)
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United Nations' agriculture officials are warning that developing countries across Asia will need to boost food production by more than 75 percent by mid-century, to avert a food security crisis in the world's most populous region.

The alert from the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization came Thursday in Bangkok at a global conference of food scientists and researchers seeking to boost wheat production.

An FAO statement says regional food security depends largely on the availability of rice and wheat — the two key crops relied upon by billions of people across the vast expanse of Asia.

It attributes the predicted wheat shortages to climate change and the accompanying shortages of water and arable land.

The statement cites an increasing consumer preference for wheat products. It also calls for plant hybrids more resistant to temperature fluctuations, disease and pests, as the global population approaches 9 billion in the coming decades.