May 29th, 2008 08:08 EST
Food prices will remain high according to UN report
A report from the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization says high food prices may continue for years.
The report says grain and other food costs may move downward from recent record-highs, but are not likely to reach their previous low levels any time soon.
The report, which was jointly published by the OECD, says 862 million people already suffer from hunger, and high prices make the situation worse.
The report urges food-producing nations to stop limiting exports, and says developed countries should reexamine policies that shift food crops to biofuel production.
The FAO says farmers in poor nations need help getting seeds, fertilizer, animal feed, and other materials. It also urges more investment in agriculture and rural infrastructure to stimulate productivity.
Some changes are already underway in global agriculture, as food consumption and production are both rising faster in the developing world than in wealthy nations. And by 2017, developing nations are expected to dominate trade in most farm products.
The report was released ahead of a global conference on food problems scheduled for next week in Rome.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP, Reuters.