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Major conference on food Dec. 1-2, 2008
Date:11/19/2008

The world's largest alliance on agricultural research will convene more than 700 leading food and environmental scientists, policy makers and donor representatives in Maputo, Mozambique, on 1-2 December 2008 to discuss the best approaches for meeting the food needs of the poor in Africa.

Four crises have shaken the global food system to its coreclimate change, skyrocketing food prices, high energy costs and an explosive worldwide financial crisis. In just the past three years, the number of hungry people in the world has increased by at least 75 million and most likely will grow. Decades of low food prices led many governments and donors to pull back investment in agriculture, and this has left agriculture highly vulnerable to the crises and their tragic consequences for people. The effects have been especially pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa, where hunger was already a daily reality.

Infertile soils, unsustainable farming practices and diverse farming conditions; the high costs of farm inputs like fertilizers; and slow adoption of modern agricultural technologies have put Africa especially at risk.

In response, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) conducted a detailed analysis to identify and recommend investment in "best-bet" approaches for spurring agricultural productivity growth, with benefits for small-scale farmers and consumers in Africa. According to the CGIAR, these proven approaches have the potential to reduce by almost half Africa's poverty ratefrom 48 to 25 percentin the next 10 years.

Who: Armando Guebuza, President, Mozambique
Katherine Sierra, Vice-President, Sustainable Development, World Bank
Dennis Garrity, Director General, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Hartmann, Director General, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Hans Herren, President, Millennium Institute
Monty Jones, Executive Secretary, Forum for Agricultural Resea
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Contact: Jeff Haskins
jhaskins@burnesscommunications.com
254-729-871-422
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Source:Eurekalert

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