Manila forum to mull farmland purchases in developing countries

A vender at the Chunakhali food market in Bangladesh's Barguna District, says prices have rocketed in the wake of Cyclone Sidr, which devastated much of the area on 15 November 2007.
(David Swanson/IRIN)

A two-day “Investment Forum for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific” opened in Manila on 7 July, and will look at escalating food prices, concerns about food production and overseas leases or purchases of farmland in developing countries.



Some 400 participants from 25 countries will discuss innovations and good practice in promoting sustainable and inclusive food security.



“The ultimate aim is to have more investment, but also better investment that responds to the needs of the undernourished and to the changing structure of the times,” Sumiter Singh Boca, policy officer for the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told IRIN.



Of the 3.5 billion people in the region, FAO estimates that 642 million live in hunger. The forum, co-organized by FAO, the Asian Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development is the first of its kind in the region.



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