UN body proposes plan to combat food crisis

More and better seeds, fertilisers, irrigation and transport facilities are needed to combat food shortages around the world, a UN economic forum concluded.

After high-level meetings in New York, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, or Ecosoc, outlined a plan to help millions of people who are struggling to get enough to eat amid soaring food prices.

Skyrocketing prices and food shortages affect the health and survival of millions around the world, President Leo Merores told the special meeting of the 52-member forum, according to a transcript posted on its website.

In the past two years, world prices of basic food commodities have witnessed a sharp increase, a report on the Ecosoc's website said, with rice prices more than doubling since late January this year.

Merores said there should be an urgency in concluding the Doha round of trade negotiations, which should address agricultural subsidies and tariffs of developed countries, with a view to helping agricultural development in poor countries.

At the Rome meeting, which will be hosted by the UN's World Food Programme in two weeks, government leaders and ministers will seek ways to prevent millions falling into hunger.