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Asia Food Price_FINAL_bhs Inggri

Asia Food Price_FINAL_bhs Inggri

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Published by: Khinmg Soe on Jul 18, 2013
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More Research and Development Needed to Feed the World Updated 12 February 2013, 16:18 AEST Reporter: Karon Snowdown

Radio Australia Slug: Asia food price INTRO A fall-off in spending on agricultural research and development in some countries is contributing to high food prices and a rise in poverty. The World Bank estimates 100 million people were thrown into poverty in 2008 when food prices soared. The bank says some of the price rises in recent years can be traced back to falling investment in research. As Karon Snowdon reports for Radio Australia, its urging a rethink by rich nations. TEXT The problem of consistently high and volatile food prices has been around since 2005. The causes are falling yields of major food crops, higher demand from growing and wealthier populations and the rapid growth of biofuels. There's a solution says Will Martin, Research Manager at the World Bank. MARTIN CLIP 1 (Male, English): “One key solution to the problem is to make sure that we increase our investments into agricultural research and development. We did that in response to the food price crisis in the 1970's and that helped us bring food prices down. But over time we thought the problem was pretty much solved, we slowed down on our investments in R&D and then it caught up with us and its been a major contributor to the rise in prices we've seen in recent years.” Research and Development in developing countries is especially important. It’s the poor who can spend 70 to 80 per cent of their income on food, and so suffer the most from high food prices. Will Martin says the latest price shocks have prompted an increase in research funding from both the government and private donors. But he adds the world can't afford to allow it to fall again. MARTIN CLIP 2 (Male, English): “The important thing now is to maintain the level of support and also to help individual developing countries with their own research and development systems to adapt what comes out of the international to the national level.” Phil Pardy, a professor of Science Policy at the University of Minnesota has looked at changing investment patterns over the past 50 years.

” The US and Europe have falling rates of research investment. India's share is also rising while Asia and Brazil now account for over 30 per cent of global R and D. But I think lots of sort of institutional innovations need to take place to sort of realise those spillover potentials. and 60 per cent of spending by middle income nations.PARDY CLIP 1 (Male. and with new intellectual property pressures added into the mix. as do developing countries. Phil Pardy says the implications might not be positive for the sharing of results and food security from such a dramatic shift. I do a lot of work in Africa and you can see a major increase in Chinese participation in Africa and it may actually change it in the jargon of economics to South South spillovers rather than the North to South spillovers.” *** . English): “And I think it has really big policy implications in terms of how people access innovations and so forth emanating from those. So one of the concerns I have is getting policy makers and other people's minds around where we are now in terms of where those investments are taking place and not having a view of the world that's perhaps 20 or 30 years out of date. If you strip out the effects of inflation in real terms we've upped our investment nearly sixfold from about five billion dollars globally to about 34 billion dollars globally. And you can see now. English): “If you look at the big picture it's an encouraging story. But there's a big difference now in the rates of growth in that spending and where in the world that's taking place. In the last decade China has doubled its research and development investment in agriculture. PARDY CLIP 2 (Male.

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