The Eu Ranks As The World's Biggest Net Importer Of Agricultural Produce While Neglecting Critical I

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MEDIA RELEASE PR41573


The EU Ranks as the World's Biggest Net Importer of Agricultural Produce While

Neglecting Critical Investment in Agricultural Research


BERLIN, Oct. 13/ PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --


    

    - International Competition for Agricultural Production Land is

Rising Dramatically


    The food situation in poor countries continues to deteriorate. On World

Food Day, October 16th, the number of starving people worldwide will have

reached a staggering 925 million.


    "Even assuming the very best possible scenario, the poorest nations will

fail by a wide margin to produce enough food to feed their own populations

over the coming decades," says Harald von Witzke, President of the Humboldt

Forum for Food and Agriculture. "This rapidly growing shortfall can only be

met if richer nations are able to produce and export more food. So far, the

EU has turned a blind eye to this looming crisis. Despite the urgent need for

immediate action, this important issue has received little or no publicity."


    Von Witzke believes that the EU has neglected critical investment in

agricultural research for far too long. In the meantime, it has become the

world's biggest net importer of agricultural produce. This means that in

order to meet its own demand for food, natural fibres, bio-energy and other

agricultural products, the EU uses a virtual land area in other countries of

about 35 million hectares, equivalent to the size of Germany. The last ten

years alone have seen net EU imports from virtual agricultural land increase

by 10 million hectares.


    "The EU has become a huge virtual land-user outside of its own

territory," says von Witzke. He points out that this expansion of land by the

EU overseas is leading to deforestation and contributing to climate change.


    "We must collectively demand that the EU fully commits to innovation and

high productivity in agriculture. This is vital if we are to eradicate

hunger, make a stand against climate change, and maintain natural habitats."


    About HFFA


    The Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture is a leading Berlin-based

think tank in global agriculture, bringing together a unique group of

internationally recognised experts from science, civil society and industry.

Its goal is to develop scientific-based policy recommendations for the future

of global food and agriculture.


    Contact:

    Prof. h. c. Harald von Witzke

    Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture e. V.

    hvwitzke@agrar.hu-berlin.de

    Phone: +49-30-2093-6233

    Mobile: +49-177-400-1187


    Source:Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture e. V.

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