Output of cereal seen at record in 2017

AFP
The world’s cereal production is headed for a bumper 2017, with total output on track for a record, the United Nation’s food agency said Thursday.
AFP

The world’s cereal production is headed for a bumper 2017, with total output on track for a record, the United Nation’s food agency said Thursday.

The increase will not, however, automatically alleviate world hunger, as conflicts and weather disasters continue to threaten food security in many regions, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a report.

“Global cereal production is forecast to reach a record level in 2017,” the FAO said.

“Robust harvests in Latin America and rebounding agricultural conditions in southern Africa are on course to improve the global food supply situation, but ongoing civil conflicts and climate-related shocks are affecting progress towards hunger reduction,” it said.

Total cereal production is estimated to reach 2.61 billion tons by the end of the year.

Major gains are seen in Argentina and Brazil, while Africa is on target to add 10 percent.

“Hurricanes in the Caribbean and floods in West Africa are likely to hamper local farm outputs, but broader food production trends are positive, buoyed by expectations of record cereal outputs in several countries.”

The FAO said some 37 countries, 28 of which are in Africa, still require external help for food.

Weather shocks this year, including droughts, have worsened the food situation in many places, notably Somalia and southern Ethiopia.

But elsewhere in Africa, production levels have rebounded from last year when they were hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

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