July, 27 2012 14:52:27

Forum discusses food security

SINGAPORE – Food security was a global challenge that could only be overcome if all nations joined in to find solutions, a forum on food security heard here today.

Experts at the one-day forum agreed that ASEAN countries should do more to ensure food security in a bid to feed the region's growing population, which is expected to hit 650 million by 2050.

Organised by the US-based DuPont company, the forum attracted representatives from world food-related organisations.

"As part of our effort to help feed the world, we commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to develop a global food security index," said DuPont East Asia president Carl Lukach.

He said this would be based on food security at the local level, country by country and globally.

"Using the index, governments, academics, NGOs, researchers, and farmer organisations can share a common language and chart a comprehensive food security programme," he added.

"We are trying our best to make the index more comprehensive as it will take all of us working together to feed a growing world" said Pratibha Thaker, EIU's regional director.

Viet Nam, one of the world's leading rice exporters, will need 50.3 million tonnes of food including 32.1 million tonnes of rice in 2015 to ensure its food security.

The country, which ranks third in ASEAN and 55th globally on the food-security index, will need a minimum of 3.8 million hectares of land for rice cultivation in 2020, according to DuPont's local managing director Farra Sirrgar.

According to the National Institute of Nutrition, more than 32 per cent of children in Viet Nam are malnourished, stunted or underweight and milk consumption per capita is low compared to other countries in the region. – VNS

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