Farm practices must change to counter high food prices: study

PARIS, April 14, 2008 (AFP) – Farming practices must change to confront soaring food prices that threaten to drive millions of poor people around the world into even deeper poverty, said a new study to be released here Tuesday. “Business as usual is no longer an option,” the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development will say in a report, according to a statement from UNESCO, where the study will be presented.

The study group was formed in 2002 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank.

Its findings were to be released here at a moment of mounting alarm at the social and political upheavals that world leaders fear could be triggered by rising food prices.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in weekend meetings in Washington appealed for measures to avert a global food crisis. European Union farm ministers were to confront the issue at a meeting later Monday in Luxembourg.

Basic foodstuff prices have all risen sharply in recent months, sparking violent protests in many countries, including Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“Based on a rough analysis, we estimat