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Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, has noted that agriculture is critical for reducing poverty in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and for national development. Speaking at the 5th Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas and the 15th Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture, at the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay St. James on Tuesday (October 27), Dr. Brathwaite said that agriculture can help to diminish the impact of the global climate change, improve nutrition and ensure food safety and security. “It is clear to us that our food security problems are not over and that the recent reduction in food prices is from the reflection of turbulence in international markets, and issues of demand and supply” the Director General of IICA said.
He added that the drivers who were blamed for the food price crisis last year, which include drought, change in exchange rate and the increased demand for food in China and India, have not gone away.
“The increased population and increase in prosperity in the developing world will continue to increase the demand for food, and increase the emphasis on food safety with increasing challenges to agriculture production in a world where land is not increasing” Dr. Chelston added. He said that these factors can cause resurgence of turbulence in the future, if nothing is done.

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