Indonesia Calls for Action on Food Security

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the world’s population could top 9 billion by 2045, compared with 7 billion now.

“Imagine the pressure on food, energy, water and resources,” he said in a speech at the annual World Economic Forum meeting. “The next economic war or conflict can be over the race for scarce resources, if we don’t manage it together.”

Nils Andersen, chief executive of the Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk, said banning speculation was not the answer, noting there were many players behind price increases in commodity markets.

“You can say that if it is done by speculators, it is unfortunate. But it can also be done by governments trying to secure food supplies for their population. And it is really hard to criticise that,” he said.

Peter Braback, chairman of the world’s biggest food group Nestle, said governments should stop promoting the use of biofuels, which he said caused a 2008 jump in food prices and would entail a tripling of global food production to meet targets.

“There is one very simple solution: no food for fuel,” he said. “It is not about every-day speculations. It’s about fixing the fundamentals, which is … reducing food for biofuels.”

Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson said the way to deal with food price inflation was by opening up agricultural markets further to remove supply constraints.


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