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FAO Summit ends in disappointment

world Updated: Nov 19, 2009 13:37 IST

The three-day World Food Summit organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome ended without nations making any specific pledges to help the world's poorest farmers.

"To my regret the official declaration adopted by the Summit this past Monday contains neither measurable targets nor specific deadlines which would have made it easier to monitor implementation," Jacques Diouf, chief of FAO said.

FAO finds that directly or indirectly, agriculture provides the livelihood for 70 per cent of the world's poor.

The Summit was convened to build political momentum to increase investment in agriculture. The FAO had proposed setting a timeline for the total eradication of hunger by 2025, and increasing assistance to USD 44 billion annually in agricultural development aid.

"It is a small amount if we consider the USD 365 billion of agriculture producer support in OECD countries in 2007, and if we consider the USD 1,340 billion of military expenditures by the world in the same year," Diouf said.

Over 60 heads of state and government and 191 ministers from 182 countries attended the Summit in Rome.