South Asia SAARC ‘food bank’ to be housed in Bangladesh: Sri Lanka official

Aug 04, 2008 (LBO) – A South Asian ‘food bank’ to counter rising prices and perceived ‘shortages’ would be housed in Bangladesh, a Sri Lankan official said at the conclusion of a meeting of an eight nation regional grouping in Colombo. The food bank will have contributions from each country according to the size of its population, Grace Asirwatham, a director at Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry, said.

Leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) has proposed to improve ‘food security’ and claimed that there was an “emerging situation of reduced food availability” as well as a worldwide spike in food prices.

A ‘Colombo Statement on Food Security’ released at the end of the summit meeting said agriculture ministers of SAARC member states would meet in New Delhi in November 2008 to come up with ways to improve food security.

Shortage?

The statement said projects would be devised to increase food production, to invest in agriculture and agro-based industries, to prevent soil erosion and to research agriculture.

SAARC nations would also share agricultural technologies and best practices in procurement and distribution and manage climatic and disease related risks in agriculture.